Firebacks

787mm wide

  1. 1160

    trefriw,_gwydir_castle_01.jpg
    787 x 533 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with double astragal edging; three eaglets, their wings outspread, side by side; the initials IW and SW, respectively, to left and right of the central eaglet's head.

    Notes: The design is based on the arms of Wynn, of Gwydir Castle in the Conwy valley of North Wales, the blazon of which is Vert, three eagles displayed in fess or. The initials relate to Sir John Wynn (1553-1626/7) who, c.1576, married Sydney Gerrard (d.1632), dating the fireback to c.1576-1626. The conjoined wings of the eagles appear to form heart shapes.

    Inscription: IW SW

    Arms: Wynn of Gwydir

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century in England.

    Current location: Gwydir Castle, Trefriw, Conwy, Wales.

  2. 901

    unknown_42  laughing lion 787x700mm.jpg
    787 x 700 mm

    Description: Quasi-Arched rectangular shape with cyma reversa shoulders; ovolo edging; stylised lion passant guardant; crowned rose with leaf and stem on left, crowned fleur de lys on right, thistle with leaves above centre; three right-facing scrolls at base; down-facing scroll, with staple, on right side; date split between bottom corners; initials below date, bottom right.

    Notes: Blatantly Royalist in its symbolism, a variant is dated (perhaps less convincingly) 1649. Numeral style, initials, leaf depiction and the stapled scroll are typical features of firebacks made from patterns by the same maker. A later version of the same subject, but with a different shaped plate and without the fleur-de-lys, is also known (see 'Royalist series'). M. A. Lower writes of this design of fireback being cast at Waldron Furnace in Sussex (Lower, 1849, p.219).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 41 / IM

    Manufactured: in 1641 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Wandsworth, London, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2014, 'A Seventeenth-Century Sussex Woodcarver: The Evidence of Cast Ironwork', Regional Furniture, 28, pp. 39-48.

    Citation: Lower, M. A., 1849, 'Iron Works of the County of Sussex', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 2, pp. 169-220 (esp. pp. 188-9).