826mm wide

  1. 152

    826 x 559 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate; on top, twice repeated stamp probably formed of a section of cresting with a row of seven ?fleurs-de-lys above a diagonal grid of squares, each with a small raised square in the middle, and a horizontal astragal border below; between the cresting, a stamp of indeterminate form and design; below, four repeated hexagonal stamps, each divided into triangles by raised lines, two under each cresting stamp; between them, a stamp of indeterminate form and design, possibly the same as the one above it; below, probably six double crosses flory, with a flower head stamp between each group of three; along the bottom, two crosses flory, three hexagon stamps and two other stamps of indeterminate form and design (though different from those described above), arranged asymetrically.

    Notes: A crude and poorly executed casting. Butterfield (1916) illustrated this fireback the other way up, and that is how it was displayed in Hastings Museum when it was photographed in the early 2000s. The orientation of this fireback has been reconsidered and the greater relative wear and heat corrosion of the smaller individual stamps suggests that the cresting was originally at the top of the fireback and not the bottom.

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

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, John's Place, Bohemia Road, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: HASMG: 1911.60.8 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

    Citation: Butterfield, W. R., 1916, 'Old Wealden Firebacks', The Connoisseur, 46, pp. 197-209.

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

  2. 919

    singleton,_weald and downland open air museum 03.jpg
    826 x 686 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; rope edging (top and sides); undulating floriate design across top of rectangle, below which are alternating roses (4) and ?crowned cross stamps (5); the same cross and rose stamps decorate the arch, three crosses on each side of a rose at the top; at the base of the arch is a row of four stamps formed of a double figure-of-eight joined by opposed concave curves; the same stamps (3), rotated 90 degrees, are arranged in a row down the left side of the plate.

    Notes: Similar undulating floriate designs have been seen on late-medieval and sixteenth century stools, suggesting a possible source. A fireback with the same loop stamps bears the same date using the same numerals but impressed in reverse. Unusually, the decoration down the left side is not repeated down the right side.

    Inscription: 1594

    Manufactured: in 1594 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Weald and Downland Living Museum, Singleton, West Sussex, England.

    (part of the Weald and Downland Living Museum museum group)