Firebacks

960mm wide

  1. 437

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 077a.jpg
    960 x 695 mm

    Description: Sub-rectangular; twisted rope edging (top and sides); centre, straight length of twisted material (rope or metal) stamped eight times to form an octagram, and twice on each side to form saltires.

    Notes: The octagram has magical symbolism, allegedly providing protection against evil.

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

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.038 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

    Citation: Mercer, H. C., 1961, The Bible in Iron (3rd ed. Doylestown, The Bucks County Historical Society).

    Citation: Schubert, H. R., 1957, History of the British Iron and Steel Industry (London, Routledge), pp. 256-264.

  2. 737

    va_13.jpg
    960 x 670 mm

    Description: Armorial within complex ovolo moulded edging on all sides; two plank lines; the achievement is distinguished by the elaborately festooned mantling, the whole resting on a boat-shaped compartment.

    Notes: The arms, which are those of an esquire, may be those of John Trevor, the son of Sir John Trevor, one of Charles II’s Secretaries of State. He married Elizabeth, widow of William Morley, of Glynde, Sussex, from whom passed the Glynde estates. The arms on this fireback have been variously attributed to Lord Dacre (a descendant of John Trevor), and Col. Marcus Trevor, 1st Viscount Dungannon. The distinctive shape is seen in similar form on several other armorial firebacks, suggesting a continuity of pattern making, if not the same pattern maker. Many copies of this fireback exist.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Arms: Trevor family, of Glynde

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

    Current location: Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington & Chelsea, Greater London, England.

    Museum number: 142.1892 (part of the Victoria & Albert Museum museum group)

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

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

  3. 94

    westerham,_squerryes court 01.jpg
    960 x 750 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; ovolo moulded edge all round; the fireback is divided, unequally, into three Old Testament scenes. Centre left: Joseph is pushed into a well shaft by one of his brothers; above, six other brothers, wearing cloaks and sober puritan hats, look on; below, one of Joseph’s brothers presents Jacob with Joseph’s coat; Joseph utters the words, ‘Ah it is my son’s coat’ in a speech bubble above. Top right: Isaac kneels on a wooden pyre; behind him, Abraham holds Isaac’s head with his left hand, and raises a cleaver above his head with his right hand; above Abraham, an angel stays his hand; to the right of Isaac a ram stands beside a bush. Bottom right: beneath a pergola Jacob lies on his deathbed; his twelve sons gather round his bed.

    Notes: The scenes depicted are derived from, respectively, Genesis 38: 20-24 & 32-33, Genesis 22: 6-13, and Genesis 49. The distinctive pictorial subject, the naïve figuration, as well as a number of minor features, such as the use of an ‘S’ scroll, draw parallels with the Lenard fireback, and the pattern may have been the work of the same wood carver, suggesting that it may share the same source. Another, probably contemporary, example is at Hampton Court.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: AH IT IS MY SONES COT [Genesis 38: 33]

    Manufactured: in the early to mid 17th century possibly at Brede furnace in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent, England.

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2007, 'A Godly chimney plate and other firebacks from Brede', Wealden Iron, 2nd ser., 27, pp. 18-26

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

    Citation: Robertson, W. A. S., 1886, 'Squerryes Court, the Camp and the Pictures', Archaeologia Cantiana, 16, pp. 134-141.