Description: Arched rectangular; ovolo edging (top and sides only); arms of the Barony of Ashburnham: (1st & 4th) gu. a fess between six mullets ar. (Ashburnham), (2nd) az. a lion rampant between eight fleurs de lys ar. (Holland), (3rd) erm. three crescents gu. (Kenn); on an escutcheon of pretence a chevron between three boys heads couped at the shoulders each entwined around the neck with a snake (Vaughan). Supporters: two greyhounds sa. their faces, breasts, and feet ar. collared and lined or; on either side of the arms is a winged cherub’s head; below each is a monogram of ‘B J’ beneath a baron’s coronet.
Notes: The arms are those of John, 1st Baron Ashburnham (1656-1710), who married Bridget Vaughan, but the fireback dates from the time of his son, John, the 3rd Baron, created Earl in 1730.
Copies of this fireback are known.
Inscription: LE ROY ET L’ESTAT / 17 13
Arms: John, 1st Baron Ashburnham
Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.
Description: Rectangular with two-stepped top; twisted rope edging (top and sides); twisted rope extensions enclosing intermediate step with rope continued parallel to sides; central rope octagram with reversed date above between repeated inverted shield shapes off-set (left higher than right); the shield blazon: barry wavy impaling quarterly, overlaid with a small bird stamp and an indistinct ?bird shape in the top left quarter as viewed; within the rope, a roughly parallel arrangement of 23 double-loop-patterned stamps, with the faint impression of an additional stamp in the top right corner of the arrangement; outside the loop stamps and partially overlying the vertical rope extensions, the impressions of two classically designed firedogs with Ionic capitals and fluted pilasters, bearing the date 1594, but with the '1' missing; the fluting on the pilasters has been overlaid by the repeated impression of a turned peg.
Notes: A large and remarkably elaborate fireback: the octagram, a device seen as uncommonly on continental firebacks as on English ones, suggests an apotropaic purpose; the impression of the firedogs was clearly made after the laying of the rope lengths and impressed less deeply as the rope impression has not been obliterated by the firedog on the left side. A fireback with the same loop stamps bears the same date using the same numerals but impressed the correct way round. Currently obscured behind a wood stove.
Inscription: 4951 [5 reversed] / 594 594
Current location: Fyning Manor, Rogate, West Sussex, England.