Firebacks

870mm wide

  1. 1030

    crowther_06.jpg
    ~870 x ~107 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape upon a moulded plinth; on a background comprising foliate swirls, a central shield, helm, coronet and elaborate mantling, with a crest of a forward facing centaur armed with a drawn bow pointed to the sinister side, and behind which are six pennons, three each side display in a v-shape; to the left, a triumph comprising a drum, draped flag on pole, concealing an arquebus, halberd and breastplate, and a broad-brimmed hat with feather; to the right, a triumph comprising a drum, a breast plate and tassets, a powder horn, and partially concealed arquebus, sword and spear, and a broad-brimmed hat with feather; at the base, a horizontal fillet with scrolled ends and squatting 'rodents'.

    Notes: An uncharacteristic fireback probably designed and cast for whoever the arms relate to. A variant without the base plinth and 'rodents' is in the collection of Museum Rotterdam (inv. 15224).

    Inscription: ANNO 1647

    Manufactured: in 1647 possibly in the Siegerland area of Germany.

    Current location:.

  2. 45

    cuckfield,_fowlers.jpg
    870 x 555 mm

    Description: Rectangular; ovolo-moulded, gadrooned edging (top and sides); a vertical spindle or chair leg surmounted by a fleur-de-lys arranged three times; the date split by the middle fleur-de-lys.

    Notes: The fleur-de-lys is separately stamped from the spindle, and the same spindle is seen on another fireback of the same date.

    Inscription: 1641

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

    Current location: in private hands, Cuckfield, West Sussex, England.

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

  3. 1018

    greenwich,_national maritime museum 02a.jpg
    870 x ?735 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging, invected on the inner edge; English royal Stuart shield, garter, crown, supporters and motto; monogram to right of unicorn supporter.

    Notes: The monogram probably identifies the pattern-maker, whose invected edging seems to be a distinctive style.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / RN / DIEV ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century in England.

    Current location: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, England.

    Museum number: AAA3476 (part of the National Maritime Museum museum group)

  4. 374

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 009.jpg
    >870 x >470 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); a length of twisted rope stamped six times to form a saltire and two crosses across the width of the plate; surplus iron extends from all sides.

    Notes: The surplus iron resulted from over filling of the mould. The crosses are likely to have Christian significance.

    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: 1944.24.037 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., May 1940, 'Old English Firebacks', Apollo, 31, 185, pp. 117-120.

  5. 644

    rochester_01.jpg
    870 x 580 mm

    Description: Formerly arched rectangular, arch now missing; cavetto-moulded edging, invected on the inner edge; English royal Stuart shield, garter, crown (mainly missing), supporters and motto; date split either side of crown; monogram to right of unicorn supporter.

    Notes: The monogram probably identifies the pattern-maker, whose invected edging seems to be a distinctive style. From another fireback of the same design, complete with the arch, the height is approx 710mm.

    Inscription: 1638 / HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / RN / DIEV ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal

    Manufactured: in 1638 in England.

    Current location: Six Poor Travellers House, High Street, Rochester, Kent, England.

    Museum number: A4328 (part of the Rochester Guildhall Museum museum group)

  6. 1021

    sutton,_greenhill 02b.jpg
    870 x 500 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cavetto-moulded edging; shield mounted on a strap-work cartouche, helm, crest, motto scroll and elaborate swirled mantling.

    Notes: The arms of the Ironmongers' Company; blazon: Argent, on a chevron gules, between three gads of steel azure, three swivels or; crest: two talbots combatant encoupled together or. The true crest of the company has two salamanders (originally 'scaly lizards') rather than talbots, and it has been noted on other firebacks that salamanders are not always represented as amphibians; Samuel Lyne, in his Heraldry Display'd (1741), described the crest as 'two talbots', etc. The motto scroll is blank, indicating that the pattern was an armorial panel with a painted, rather than a carved, motto. A variant of the same fireback has the date 1660 and initials GI (Country Life, 8 March 1946, p. 450; 29 March 1946, p.588.).

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Worshipful Company of Ironmongers

    Manufactured: in the mid 17th century in England.

    Current location: in private hands, Sutton, Surrey, England.