Firebacks

590mm wide

  1. 853

    bridgewater_collection 08.jpg
    ?590 x ?575 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto edging; three ostrich feathers issuing from a royal coronet; motto banner below.

    Notes: The badge of the Prince of Wales; perhaps cast during the Commonwealth period; a variant at Rottingdean Grange has pattern-maker's initials.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: ICH [DIEN]

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

  2. 27

    burwash,_batemans 05.jpg
    590 x 665 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with symmetrical scrolled ‘portico’ above, a flower vase between and circular discs at each end, symmetrical horizontal palm fronds below; pilaster with spiral design and Ionic capital on each side; central pictorial scene of a bagpiper with Elizabethan ruff and soft cap with feather in front of a vaulted ruin, on the right a flaming cauldron on a plinth.

    Notes: This seems to be pastiche using various elements derived from other firebacks, notably the moulding and scrolled top are from the Lenard fireback , and the palm fronds are from elsewhere. The figure may be adapted from a painting of a bagpiper by Abraham Bloemaert (1564-1651)

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in England.

    Current location: Bateman's, Burwash, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/BAT/M/167 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

  3. 370

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 005.jpg
    >590 x >560 mm

    Description: Fragment; left side only; twisted rope edging to left, canted moulded batten above; left hand print with dividers to its right.

    Notes: An unusual combination of edging. The dividers may refer to the occupation of the person for whom this fireback was cast.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 16th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: LH000.798 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 30 Dec 1911, 'Sussex Backs and their Story', The Ironmonger.

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

  4. 406

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 040.jpg
    590 x >515 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped; convex moulding (top and sides surviving); scrolled protrusions above top corners; Stuart royal shield, crown, garter, supporters and motto; initials separated by crown.

    Notes: The scrolled protrusions suggest a possible association with other firebacks with similar features.

    Inscription: I R / HONI SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: English Stuart royal - James I

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: LH000.944 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

  5. 424

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 059.jpg
    590 x 920 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel with bead edging terminating at the top in two loops, gather drapery and a scallop shell; two figures to the right, both bearded, the one kneeling wears cavalry armour, a cloak and a crown, the other stands behind; to the left is a sacrificial pyre on which an ox carcass burns, and above an angel carrying a sword in his right hand and a skull in his left; around this is an arched rectangular border with fillet edging and a repeated leaf pattern; on top is a scallop shell between two dolphins.

    Notes: The scene illustrates the visitation of the pestilence on Israel described in 2 Samuel 24, and the sacrifice of an oxen by King David; the skull borne by the angel represents the death of those struck down by the plague. A slightly different version has the face of David looking down.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the mid to late 17th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 1944.24.070 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.

  6. 598

    ripley_004.jpg
    590 x 470 mm

    Description: Rectangular with fillet edging; central, oval panel with fillet edging containing the semi-reclining, begowned figure of Cleopatra, a mirror/sceptre in her right hand and an asp in her left hand; oval border with astragal and fillet edging and undulating foliage; in each of the top spandrels, a face of a putto; in the bottom spandrels, a triangular design of swirled foliage; at the centre of each side, overlapping the central oval border, an oval cartouche with scrolls in the inward facing side; four horizontal plank lines regularly spaced.

    Notes: The naivety of the figuration and the similarity of the scrolled designs suggest that this may be the work of the same pattern-maker as the Lenard fireback. Either of two tapestries of the death of Cleopatra after Karel van Mander II (1579-1623), one made for the Swedish royal court, may be the inspiration for this fireback.

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  7. 637

    ripley_057.jpg
    590 x 600 mm

    Description: Rectangular; astragal and fillet edging; date across top of plate.

    Notes: One of a series of backs dating to the 1730s and 40s using the same set of letters and numerals.

    Inscription: 1736

    Manufactured: in 1736 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  8. 670

    rottingdean_grange 03.jpg
    590 x 575 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto edging; three ostrich feathers issuing from a royal coronet; a blank motto banner below; the initials bottom left, above banner.

    Notes: The badge of the Prince of Wales; perhaps cast during the Commonwealth period.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: IL

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Rottingdean Grange, Rottingdean, East Sussex, England.

    (part of the Rottingdean Preservation Society museum group)

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

  9. 706

    tiverton_castle 06.jpg
    590 x 838 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular central panel, with bead edging; pictorial, two men in 17th century dress, on a ground, carrying a huge bunch of grapes slung from a pole between them, behind are vine leaves; the initials located below the top corners; arched rectangular border, fillet edging, containing vine leaves and grapes; above, symmetrical swirling foliage.

    Notes: The scene, drawn from the Old Testament, represents Joshua and Caleb carrying the bunch of grapes from the valley of Eshcol in the land of Canaan, back to Moses and the children of Israel (Numbers 13: 23-4); a small number of firebacks bear the initials, GK; it is not known to whom they refer, but dated ones are of 1700.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: G K

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location: Tiverton Castle, Tiverton, Devon, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2010, British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries (Crawley, Hodgers Books).

  10. 1106

    warwick,_northgate house b.jpg
    ~590 x ~719 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with quadrant extensions on top corners; twisted rope edging (top and sides); vertical rope line parallel to each side, forming two separate side panels; horizontal rope line joined to vertical lines enclosing the following: inside arch, initials IBA in triad; below initials, double fleur-de-lys stamp between split date 1693; below horizontal line, a double fleur stamp in each top corner of central lower panel; in each side panel, a single bead above a vertical sequence of squared cross stamps repeated nine times.

    Notes: The distinctive squared cross and fleur stamps are seen on other firebacks; the initials in triad may relate to a husband and wife. The photograph had to be taken through a perspex sheet marked with bird droppings.

    Inscription: IBA [triad] / 16 93

    Manufactured: in 1693 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Northgate House, Northgate, Warwick, Warwickshire, England.