Firebacks

860mm wide

  1. 1214

    geddington,_boughton_house_01.jpg
    860 x 1250 mm

    Description: Rectangular shape; no edging; shield of the 2nd Duke of Montagu surrounded by the Garter and surmounted by a ducal coronet.

    Notes: One of four firebacks at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, cast with the ducal arms and the Garter having a diameter of 77cm. Fifty firebacks were cast for the house between 1743 and 1748 by Richard Ford, probably at Nibthwaite Furnace, but also possibly at Newland furnace, both then in north Lancashire. The arms are blazoned: Quarterly, 1st & 4th: Argent, three fusils conjoined in fess gules, a bordure sable (Montagu); 2nd & 3rd: Or an eagle displayed vert beaked and membered gules (Monthermer); on an escutcheon of pretence, Sable a lion rampant Argent a canton Argent charged with a cross Gules (Churchill); John, 2nd Duke of Montagu married Mary, daughter and co-heiress of John, 1st Duke of Marlborough.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI.SOIT.QUI.MAL.Y.PENSE

    Arms: Montagu quartering Monthermer with Churchill in an escutcheon of pretence - John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu, KG

    Manufactured: in the mid 18th century probably at Newland Furnace in the Furness area of England.

    Current location: Boughton House, Geddington, Northamptonshire, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., Spring 2022, 'The Boughton House Firebacks', Base Thoughts, Newsletter of the Antique Metalware Society, pp. 10-11.

  2. 343

    ightham_mote 02.jpg
    860 x 695 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; no edging; initials evenly spaced around arch; date split between top corners.

    Inscription: W S / 18 24

    Manufactured: in 1824 in England.

    Current location: Ightham Mote, Ightham, Kent, England.

    Museum number: NT/IGH/M/27 (part of the National Trust museum group)

  3. 355

    kenilworth_castle.jpg
    860 x 850 mm

    Description: Rectangular joined to pediment by symmetrical scrolls; fillet edging with embattling inside; shield, helm, crest, supporters and mantling of the city of Bristol; date split by bottom of shield; inscription in an oval cartouche below shield.

    Notes: Both '3's in the date are a substitution, with another casting suggesting an original date of 1614 or 1624. The pattern-maker was also responsible for carving royal coats of arms in three West Country churches and a small numnber of series of firebacks in the first quarter of the 17th century.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 33 / [ARMES] BRISTOLL

    Arms: City of Bristol

    Manufactured: in 1633 possibly in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England.

    Museum number: 88278827 (part of the English Heritage museum group)

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2017, 'Church Armorials and Firebacks: Evidence of an Early 17th-Century Woodcarver', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 135, pp. 213-223.

    Citation: Russell, A. J., 1978, 'The Fireback in Willey Farmhouse, Chaldon', Local History Records, 17 (The Bourne Society), pp. 8-9.

  4. 365

    lambourn,_ashdown house 01.jpg
    860 x 860 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; astragal edging with parallel astragal enclosing a border of undulating convolvulus vine, leaves and flowers; bead and disc circle in arch, above a pair of lions rampant facing each other, between which are a five-pointed star above a rose.

    Notes: A fireback in a retro-Regency style

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 19th to early 20th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Lambourn, Berkshire, England.

  5. 1010

    saarbrucken_860x720.jpg
    860 x 720 mm

    Description: Rectangular with ovolo-moulded edging; central oval shield of England (quarterly France modern and England) surrounded by the Garter with the additional word 'IL', and supported by a dragon on the dexter side and a greyhound on the sinister side, each standing on a plinth; to each side of the armorial group is a column with the upper part of the shaft fluted and the lower part foliate; each has an Ionic capital and a moulded pedestal; fire issues from the top of the capital.

    Notes: The style of carving is not typical of English design but is similar to other firebacks bearing Tudor armorials that were probably cast in Germany.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT IL QVI MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: English royal Tudor (prob. Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

    Current location: in private hands, Butleigh, Somerset, England.

    Citation: Carpentier, H., 1912, Plaques de Cheminées, Paris.

  6. 682

    sedlescombe,_mabbs cottage.jpg
    860 x 680 mm

    Description: Rectangular, with detached pediment joined by mirrored S-shaped scrolls; fillet edging with scalloping on inside edge (top and sides of rectangle, and pediment, only); central Tudor rose with surrounding garter, crowned lion and dragon supporters, surmounted by a helmet, mantling and crowned lion passant crest; initials, ER, separated by crest; initials, TP, in top corners of rectangle; ‘date’ split between bottom corners.

    Notes: Stylistically of the late 16th or very early 17th centuries, the date is absent from some versions, and is likely to have been added spuriously to later recastings, of which this is one, the style of the numerals being identical to a series of firebacks cast in 1648-58.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: E R / T P / 1558

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century possibly at Tintern Furnace in the Forest of Dean area of Wales.

    Current location: in private hands, Sedlescombe, East Sussex, England.

  7. 799

    withyham_rectory 01.jpg
    860 x 700 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate with shield, supporters, ducal coronet, motto and garter of the Duke of Dorset: Quarterly, Or and gules, a bend vair.

    Notes: Almost certainly the arms of Lionel Sackville KG (1688-1765), created first duke of Dorset in 1720; many different firebacks exist, all with precisely the same armorial stamp.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: [around shield] HONY SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / [on motto scroll] AUT NUNQUAM TENTES, AUT PERFICE

    Arms: Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset

    Manufactured: in the early 18th century in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Withyham, East Sussex, England.