Firebacks

910mm wide

18 results

  1. 218

    brighton_museum 10.jpg
    910 x 350 mm

    Description: Rectangular; cyma recta moulded edging formed of short lengths probably derived from furniture; top left, initials arranged in triad; top right, date; top centre, rose-and-crown between two small fleurs de lys, with two concentric rope-patterned roundels outside, above two small roses; four roses evenly spaced across lower middle, with a fleur between each outer pair, and another rose below the date.

    Notes: One of a series of firebacks cast between the 1670s and 1690s bearing small, simple stamps, initials and dates; the style of rose and crown is similar to that used in gun founding in the Tudor period, suggesting that the furnace that was the source of this fireback may have been used for that purpose.

    Inscription: HEM [triad] 1685

    Manufactured: in 1685 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: R3341/2 (part of the Brighton Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Lindsay, J. S., 1927, Iron & Brass Implements of the English House (London, The Medici Society).

  2. 826

    burwash,_little broadhurst farm.jpg
    910 x 655 mm

    Description: Canted rectangular shape with moulded edging (top and sides) overlain by a length of twisted rope repeated six times; central vertical line formed of twisted rope, crossed with rope upper centre, with rope laid in a diamond pattern around the cross; lower centre, two irregular v-shapes formed of rope, one on each side of the vertical; shield shaped stamp with a fleur de lys repeated twice each side, upper left and right.

    Notes: The twin V arrangement may have apotropaic significance and the cross above them having a Christian symbolism; the base board appears to have had a moulded edge, with rope lengths applied over part of the moulding after the board had been pressed into the casting bed; a sketch of this fireback was made by J. Starkie Gardner c.1891 and is in his collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Archive of Art and Design (AAD/2014/8).

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

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

  3. 129

    hastings_019.jpg
    910 x 540 mm

    Description: Canted rectangle; twisted rope edging (top and sides); date stamp top centre; arched rectangular style fireback with cavetto-moulded edge and fructed ‘vine’ plant design, impressed twice; vertical twisted rope length between. Damage to bottom corners.

    Notes: A composite fireback using the impressions of another fireback repeated for a symmetrical design.

    Inscription: 1673

    Manufactured: in 1673 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 952.51.65 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

  4. 166

    hastings_049.jpg
    910 x 450 mm

    Description: Rectangular; plain plate with three stamps of an iron firedog with a twisted design on the neck, a primitive face on the terminal and a shield bearing initials RW.

    Notes: The letters RW are said to relate to Richard Woodman, ironmaster and Protestant martyr, who resided at Cralle Place, and who operated Cralle furnace. A near-identical firedog was discovered at Bridge Cottage, Uckfield, Sussex.

    Inscription: RW

    Manufactured: in the mid 16th century probably at Cralle furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings, East Sussex, England.

    Museum number: 909.94 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Easton, T. & Hodgkinson, J. S., 2013, 'Apotropaic Symbols on Cast-Iron Firebacks', Jnl. of the Antique Metalware Soc., 21, pp. 14-33.

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

  5. 192

    helston,_godolphin house 02.jpg
    910 x 520 mm

    Description: Rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); irregular arrangement of four stamps in three rows: face mask with ?crown and ruff (3), flower head with four petals and leaflets (4), fleur de lys (5), and profile of a head with 'Roman' crest (2); initials replace stamps in top corners.

    Notes: A larger variant, undated and with other initials but the same four stamps, is also known.

    Inscription: TBI I•A•1•6•1•8 / TA S

    Manufactured: in 1618 possibly in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Godolphin House, Helston, Cornwall, England.

    Museum number: 169481 (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).

  6. 942

    hull,_wilberforce house.jpg
    910 x 680 mm

    Description: Rectangular with a central rectangular extension; twisted rope edging; fleur-de-lys stamp with twisted band repeated three times at top; ?rose stamp repeated five times in line below fleurs, some over pressed, central rose above others; cabled anchor stamp repeated twice, either side of central rose; initials below central rose; ?cow and dog stamps each repeated twice alternately in line below initials; eight rivets from later repair.

    Notes: None of the stamps is known from any other fireback; cabled anchor may suggest a connection with a seaport.

    Inscription: HI

    Manufactured: in the early 17th century in England.

    Current location: Wilberforce House, High Street, Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, England.

    (part of the Hull Museums museum group)

  7. 346

    ightham_mote 05.jpg
    910 x 892 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: Ightham Mote, Ightham, Kent, England.

    (part of the National Trust museum group)

  8. 393

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 027.jpg
    910 x 510 mm

    Description: Rectangular with canted top corners; twisted rope edging all round except base: plain plate with two stamps of an iron firedog with twisted neck and shield bearing letters HN and crossed staples; firedogs have columnar capitals; fleur de lys stamp repeated six times, singly at each end, in star pattern in middle; stamps have twisted wreaths.

    Notes: The initials HN probably refer to Henry Nevill, the crossed staples being a badge of the Nevill family. Henry Nevill occupied Mayfield furnace from about 1585 until 1599. Other firedogs in a versimilar style are known.

    Inscription: HN HN

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

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

    Museum number: LH000.902 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Anon., 30 Dec 1911, 'Sussex Backs and their Story', The Ironmonger.

    Citation: Dawson, C., 1903, 'Sussex Iron Work and Pottery', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 46, pp. 1-54.

    Citation: Starkie Gardner, J., 1898, 'Iron Casting in the Weald', Archaeologia, 56, 1, pp. 133-164.

  9. 422

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 057a.jpg
    910 x 795 mm

    Description: Rectangular with a square projection middle top; castellated top edging; top centre, stylised Calvary; upper section: pictorial scene, centre, house with tiled roof, windows, and chimney at each end, paths leading from house; left, possible forge building with four chimneys and three water wheels, and adjacent furnace stack?; above, shed with lean-to, barrow, and wheel structure, all between trees; right, figure of a man running towards the house, unidentified objects between trees; lower section: plain panel with central triple-grooved horizontal line.

    Notes: A striking and unusual fireback with a scene suggesting a connection with iron-making.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Manufactured: in the late 16th to early 17th century possibly in the Eifel area of Germany.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.045 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  10. 472

    lower_2.jpg
    ~910 x ~675 mm

    Description: Rectangular with central triangular arch; twisted rope edging (top and sides); in arch, on top, a small cross with fleur terminals, above a rose and crown with dragon and lion supporters, above two crowned shields each bearing a small fleur-de-lys; text across top half, split by the crowned shields, each word separated by two fleur terminals; across the lower part, four crowned shields each with a fleur-de-lys; fleur crosses at ends of first and third lines; bottom left, ‘I’; bottom right, ‘A’.

    Notes: No record of Thomas Unstead or his wife has been found, to date; illustrated in Lower, 1849 p. 189; formerly at Misfield [Miswell], Worth, Sussex. One of a series of distinctive firebacks cast in 1582, most with inscriptions relating to individuals.

    Inscription: THOMAS VNSTE / ADIS : FILD AND DINIS / HIS : WIF: ANO : DOMINO: / 1582 / I A

    Manufactured: in 1582 possibly at Pounsley furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location:.

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

    Citation: Lower, M. A., 1849, 'Iron Works of the County of Sussex', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 2, pp. 169-220 (esp. pp. 188-9).