Firebacks

905mm wide

  1. 1027

    broadway,_lygon arms 01a.jpg
    905 x 760 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; inset twisted rope edging (top and sides); stamp formed of a statuette of an standing angel with left hand at the waist, and holding a sceptre in the right hand; date split either side of angel; initials 'RD' split above date; initials 'IDA' in triad above angel; small face stamp in each top corner.

    Notes: The identity of those to whom the initials refer is not known; the use of the angel statuette is a rare inclusion of a religious motif on an English fireback. A variant of this fireback is at Flaxley Abbey, Gloucestershire.

    Inscription: IDA [triad] / R D / 16 32

    Manufactured: in 1632 in the Forest of Dean area of England.

    Current location: The Lygon Arms, High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, England.

  2. 1029

    broadway,_lygon arms 04a.jpg
    905 x 920 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto-moulded edging; shield, supporters, earl's coronet and motto scroll.

    Notes: The arms are of the Hyde family: azure, a chevron between three lozenges or; the supporters: two eagles, wings endorsed sable, ducally crowned and charged on the breast with a cross or; Edward Hyde (1609-74) was created earl of Clarendon in 1661. An excrescence over the sinister supporter indicates where the iron was poured clumsily into the open sand mould.

    Arms: Hyde, earls of Clarendon

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

    Current location: The Lygon Arms, High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire, England.

  3. 66

    fernhurst,_vanlands 01.jpg
    905 x 755 mm

    Description: Quasi-arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging on top and sides of rectangle, and separately around arch; the rope ends extend beyond both ends of the top edge; vertical rope lengths, to full height, inside left and right edges; rope crosses in arch and in upper centre of rectangle.

    Notes: Probably an early vernacular example of a design mimicking the ‘Palladian’ style. The crosses suggest Christian significance.

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

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

  4. 996

    goudhurst,_chequer tree farmhouse.jpg
    905 x 695 mm

    Description: Quasi-rectangular shape (42.5mm wider at the bottom); border formed of strips carved with an undulating vine (top and sides); successive rows of repeated stamps: (from top) 18 'hops' or 'grape bunches' in line, horizontal fillet with line of beads below, line of vine strips, 5 'swans' in line with 'hops'/'grape bunches' at top and bottom of gaps, line of vine strips, line of beads with horizontal fillet below, 17 'hops'/'grape bunches' in line, and line of vine strips (partially obscured by what appears to be the repeated pressing of finger tips into the casting sand to form an extension at the base).

    Notes: One of a series of firebacks incorporating the use of the undulating vine strip, and the 'swan' stamp. This may be a recasting produced by the firm of Charles Wayte & Cheverton, formerly of Edenbridge, Kent, as a similar back was illustrated in their catalogue.

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

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

  5. 392

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 026.jpg
    905 x 740 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; cavetto moulding on all sides, with short gaps at each end of the base (possibly to accommodate firedogs); date in top corners; shield, supporters, coronet and motto of the Barony of Bergavenny: Gules, on a saltire argent, a rose of the field, barbed and seeded proper. The motto, ‘Ne vile velis’ (Wish nothing base) is a pun on the family name.

    Notes: The arms are those of William Nevill, 16th Baron Bergavenny, of Kidbrooke Park, Forest Row, Sussex. The date of the fireback coincides with the completion of the mansion.

    Inscription: 1736 / NE VILE VELIS

    Arms: William Nevill, 16th Baron Bergavenny

    Manufactured: in 1736 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Anne of Cleves House, Southover High Street, Lewes, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 1944.24.086 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Hughes, G. B., 1955, 'Old English Firebacks', Country Life, 117, 21 April, pp. 1056-60.

  6. 641

    ripley_061.jpg
    905 x 1060 mm

    Description: Rectangular with arched top; astragal moulded edging (top and sides); top centre, shield, supporters, coronet and motto of the 1st Baron Ashburnham: (1st & 4th) gu. a fess between six mullets ar. (Ashburnham), (2nd) az. a lion rampant between eight fleurs de lys ar. (Holland), (3rd) erm. three crescents gu. (Kenn); on an escutcheon of pretence a chevron between three boys heads couped at the shoulders each entwined around the neck with a snake (Vaughan). Supporters: two greyhounds sa. their faces, breasts, and feet ar. collared and lined or; below left and right, a monogram of B and J with a baron’s coronet above.

    Notes: John Ashburnham, who married Bridget Vaughan in 1677, was created baron in 1689. he died in 1710.

    Inscription: LE ROY ET L’ESTAT

    Arms: John, 1st Baron Ashburnham

    Manufactured: in the late 17th to early 18th century probably at Ashburnham furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Mark Ripley Forge & Fireplaces, Northbridge Street, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, England.

  7. 687

    sevenoaks,_knole 03.jpg
    905 x 915 mm

    Description: Rectangular with arched rectangular shaped top joined by cavetto curves; astragal edging; 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.

    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: Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent, England.

    Museum number: NT/KNO/M/41 (part of the National Trust museum group)

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

  8. 1093

    westland_ltd 14570 905x620.jpg
    905 x 620 mm

    Description: Rectangular; simulated twisted rope edging with a gap, top centre; centre, shield, baron's coronet, supporters and crest; in each top corner, heraldic badge - a Sea Lion holding an anchor.

    Notes: The arms are of Sir Hudson Ewbanke Kearley, Bt., 1st Baron Devonport (1856-1934); created 1910, he was elevated to Viscount in 1917, thus the fireback would have been cast between 1910 and 1917. Blazon: Azure in chief two Mitres Argent garnished Or and in base a Square Tower of the second, a baronet's badge in chief; Supporters: On either side a Sea Lion Argent crined finned and tufted Or each gorged with a Collar Gules charged with three Roses of the second and each supporting a Spear erect proper; Crest: An Ancient Ship Or the Mainsail Azure charged with a Sea Lion of the first; Motto: Fit Via Vi (The way is made through strength). A version with the same arms and badges has an arched rectangular shape and plain edging.

    Inscription: FIT VIA VI

    Arms: Hudson Ewbanke Kearley, 1st Baron Devonport (later 1st Viscount)

    Manufactured: in the early 20th century in England.

    Current location:, England.

  9. 588

    winchester_museum store 01.jpg
    905 x 740 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape with semi-circular protrusions at the sides; cavetto-moulded edging; a pheon (a downward-pointing arrow head barbed on the inner edge) within a wreath, an earl’s coronet above; the date on either side of the coronet; the initials on left and right sides; a fleur de lys in each bottom corner.

    Notes: The detail of the wreath differs from that on the 1626 plate.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 16 30 / R L

    Manufactured: in 1630 possibly at Robertsbridge furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Winchester Museums Store, Unit F2, Bar End Industrial Estate, Winchester, Hampshire, Winchester, Hampshire, England.

    Museum number: WINCM:LH 5704 (part of the Winchester Museums museum group)