918mm wide

  1. 436

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 076c.jpg
    918 x 628 mm

    Description: Rectangular; carved moulding edging; centre, inscription panel; undulating vine strip stamp repeated thirteen times to form an inner border along each side of the inscription panel.

    Notes: The only fireback of the Anne Forster series to have edging formed from wooden moulding probably from dismantled furniture. Given to the Sussex Archaeological Society in 1850 by Sir Henry Shiffner Bt., of Coombe Place, Hamsey, Sussex. A former occupant of his burnt-out estate cottage, where it had been found, was said to have been a Miss Forster.


    Manufactured: in the late 16th century possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

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

    (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2018, 'The Anne Forster Firebacks', Surrey Archaeological Collections, 101, 99-114.

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

    Citation: Lower, M. A., 1852, 'Monumental iron slab of Anne Forster', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 5, pp. 202-4.

  2. 551

    918 x 845 mm

    Description: Rectangular; ovolo-moulded edging; top centre, stamp formed of a carved domestic scene of a family around a table, between two small mirrored rectangular stamps each of a cow; lower centre, symmetrical arrangement of two jugs, two goblets and two crossed churchwarden pipes, all in low relief.

    Notes: The domestic group has been formed from a decorative iron mantelpiece ornament portraying the tale of the goose that laid golden eggs. Having killed the goose, the family are lamenting the loss of their bounty (see Ames, 1980, p.94). The style of the fireback suggests a pastiche using designs suggesting the past. The same mantelpiece group can be seen as decoration on the kitchen spit assemblage at Petworth House, West Sussex, which was cast at Robert Chorley's foundry at Cocking, south of Midhurst. Evidently this and another fireback bearing the same ornament stamp were among items from the Cowdray estate sold in 1898.

    Manufactured: in the early 19th century probably at Cocking Foundry in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex, England.

    Museum number: NT/PET/M/43 (part of the National Trust museum group)

    Citation: Ames, A., 1980, Collecting Cast Iron (Ashbourne, Moorland Publishing).

    Citation: Arnold, F. H., 1900, 'Notes and Queries No. 7: Relics of Old Cowdray', Sussex Archaeological Collections, 43, p. 281.