Firebacks

890mm wide

  1. 913

    brightling_park.jpg
    890 x >640 mm

    Description: Rectangular with an arched rectangular style arch linked by symmetrical concave curves; ovolo moulding (top and sides); shield, helm, crest and mantling of the Fuller family. A number 7, the only visible part of the date seen on other castings is in the top right corner of the shield.

    Notes: A carved armorial on a plain, edged base board; the arms of the Fullers of Brightling Park, Sussex: Argent, three bars and a canton gules; the crest; Out of a ducal coronet Or, a lion’s head argent; the Fullers were iron masters and gun founders in the first half of the 18th century, operating Heathfield furnace, where it is likely that this fireback was cast.

    Inscription: [1] 7 / [4] [7]

    Arms: Fuller, of Brightling, Sussex

    Manufactured: in 1747 probably at Heathfield furnace in the Weald area of England.

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

  2. 968

    cowden,_basing 01.jpg
    890 x 645 mm

    Description: Rectangular; truncated egg and dart moulded edging on top and left side; top right of centre, date in individual over-pressed stamps; initials in over-pressed stamps centred below date.

    Notes: A rare use of egg and dart moulding used as separate edging, presumably derived from redundant domestic moulding or furniture.

    Inscription: 1637 / H V

    Manufactured: in 1637 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Cowden, Kent, England.

  3. 967

    ellesmere_01a.jpg
    ~890 x ~638 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging; central shield, garter, supporters, motto and crown; date in arch; initials 'I R' (Iacobus Rex) separated by crown; initials 'R T' separated by supporters, and level with other initials; fleur-de-lys stamp repeated 16 times, one each side of date, two on each shoulder of plate, five down each side.

    Notes: A naively carved armorial of James I (VI of Scotland). The initials 'RT' are likely to be those of the person who commissioned the fireback. A fireback with an identical armorial, supporters and royal initials, dated 1633, was recorded by Alfred Watkins at Fawley Court, Brockhampton, Herefordshire, before 1918 (but now no longer in situ).

    Inscription: 1611 / R I R T / HONY SOIT QVI MAL Y PENSE / [motto illegible]

    Arms: English Stuart royal

    Manufactured: in 1611 in England.

    Current location: Ellesmere, Shropshire, England.

  4. 92

    hampton_court 05.jpg
    890 x 710 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped; paternost bead edging (top and sides); Stuart royal arms: shield, garter, helm, crown, crest, supporters and motto; date split between top corners; initials split beneath supporters.

    Notes: Firebacks with royal arms attributable to the reign of James II are, inevitably, uncommon owing to the brevity of his reign. Paternost beads are more usually found as edging on ‘Dutch’ types of fireback. A polychrome casting of this fireback is displayed as the royal arms in St James's church in North Cray, Kent.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1687 /HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE / I R / DIEU ET MON DROIT

    Arms: English Stuart royal (James II)

    Manufactured: in 1687 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hampton Court, Richmond, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 1010 (part of the Royal Collection museum group)

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

  5. 491

    michelham_005.jpg
    890 x 673 mm

    Description: Armorial; one plank line; shield, supporters, helm, crest and garter of the Sackville family: quarterly or and gules, a bend vair.

    Notes: The arms of Thomas Sackville (1527-1608), created 1st Baron Buckhurst in 1567 and invested Knight of the Garter in 1589. He was MP for East Grinstead. He was created 1st Earl of Dorset in 1604; the back therefore dates between 1589 and 1604.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONI ... MAL Y PEN ...

    Arms: Sackville, Baron Buckhurst

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

    Current location: Michelham Priory, Arlington, East Sussex, England.

    (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society 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).

  6. 657

    rolvenden,_halden place.jpg
    890 x 725 mm

    Description: Rectangular with curved top corners; Arched rectangular extension on top; ovolo edging; mounted figure in 17th cent. armour riding down a dragon to the left and below, sword in hand; inscription across top and either side of horseman; date below left; initials below right.

    Notes: Probably a representation of St George and the Dragon, with political undertones, given the date. Cursius may be a mi-spelling of Marcus Curtius, who sacrificed himself for the good of Rome. Nil Desperandum - Despair not. Other firebacks also bear the initials, IM, which probably relate to the pattern maker, some with a similar style of lettering.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: CVRSIVS / NIL DESPERANDVM / 1650 / IM

    Manufactured: in 1650 possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Rolvenden, Kent, England.

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

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

  7. 51

    taunton,_london fine ltd.jpg
    890 x 680 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shaped, topped with a triangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides only); inverted Tudor royal shield and Garter, crown above, greyhound and lion supporters (see example at Alfriston Clergy House). Two horizontal planklines.

    Notes: A uniquely shaped fireback, the inverted shield and Garter indicate that they formed a separate stamp from the crown; other firebacks with these stamps have the shield and Garter the correct way round. A frequently copied fireback; a larger version has a bottom extension.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: HONE SOVT QUEY MAL Y PENSE

    Arms: Tudor royal (prob.Henry VIII)

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 16th century possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Courtlands, Taunton, Somerset, England.

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

  8. 725

    upper_beeding, 1725 cottage.jpg
    890 x 520 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle with twisted rope edging; uneven, individually stamped letters and numerals, the initials separating the two parts of the date, which are raised slightly higher; dots are stamped on each side of each half of the date and between the initials; a twisted rope saltire at each end of the inscription.

    Notes: The plate above the inscription is a repair, as are the rivets either side of the crack.

    Inscription: ·16· M · N ·59·

    Manufactured: in 1659 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: in private hands, Upper Beeding, West Sussex, England.