Firebacks

Manufactured in 1588

  1. 41

    cuckfield_park 02.jpg
    765 x 675 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; rope edging (top and sides); Tudor royal shield, garter, crown and supporters (crowned lion and dragon); date above crown; empty motto compartment with initials below.

    Notes: Identical arms can be seen on fireback formerly at Baynards Park, Cranleigh, and in private hands at Maresfield, but without the motto compartment; minor variations in the position of individual elements indicate that the garter and shield, crown, and each supporter were separately stamped; the initials are likely to be those of Henry Bowyer, ironmaster (d.1588), the fireback perhaps being made in his memory.

    Inscription: 1588 HB

    Arms: Tudor royal (Elizabeth I)

    Manufactured: in 1588 possibly at Pounsley Furnace, Framfield in the Weald area of England.

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

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

  2. 281

    ellesborough,_chequers 07.jpg
    790 x 690 mm

    Description: This fireback comprises at least four separate elements: the rectangular central panel has an anchor with coiled rope between two fleurs de lys, below which are two roses; the two rectangular side panels each comprise a vertical stem with six grape bunches surmounted by a smaller bunch; above, a semicircular arch contains the initials between two roses as in the central panel, with the date above; where the arch meets the central panel there is an arc across each corner; the top and sides panels are edged with simulated twisted rope.

    Notes: A variant of the well-known ‘Armada’ fireback.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

    Current location: Chequers, Ellesborough, Buckinghamshire, England.

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

  3. 439

    lewes,_sussex arch soc 079.jpg
    >660 x 795 mm

    Description: Fragment; left part only; this fireback comprises at least four separate elements: the rectangular central panel has an anchor with coiled rope between two fleurs de lys, below which are two roses; the rectangular side panels each comprise a vertical stem with six ‘grape bunches’ surmounted by a circular grape cluster; above, a semicircular arch contains the initials between two roses as in the central panel, with the date above; where the arch meets the central panel there is an arc across each corner. The side and top panels are edged with simulated twisted rope; to the left and botoom, a plain extension has been added before casting.

    Notes: One of an unusual series formed from separate panels. The left panel is likely to have been repeated in the missing section. The extensions to the side and bottom will be unique to this casting which, because of the sharpness of the relief detail, is probably an early example. Because of its date and the use of the anchor motif, this much-copied plate is often referred to as the Armada fireback. No other connection with the sea battle is known. Other firebacks have been cast using some of the separate elements described.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 1944.24.060 (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society museum group)

  4. 822

    mayfield,_yeomans.jpg
    1030 x 680 mm

    Description: Repeated rectangular panels each bearing an anchor with coiled rope between two fleurs de lys, below which are two roses and a grape bunch beneath; the two rectangular side panels each comprise a vertical stem with six grape bunches surmounted by a smaller bunch; above, a semicircular arch contains the initials between two roses as in the central panel, with the date above; where the arch meets the central panel there is an arc across each corner; the top and sides panels are edged with simulated twisted rope.

    Notes: One of an unusual series formed from separate panels arranged, in this instance, with each vertical panel repeated.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

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

  5. 736

    va_12.jpg
    1030 x 890 mm

    Description: Other examples indicate that this fireback comprises at least four separate elements: the rectangular central panel has an anchor with coiled rope between two fleurs de lys, below which are two roses; this arrangement is repeated alongside; the two rectangular side panels each comprise a vertical stem with six ‘raspberries’ surmounted by a circular berry cluster; above, a semicircular arch contains the initials between two roses as in the central panel, with the date above; where the arch meets the central panel there is an arc across each corner; on the rectangular base panel, on a stippled ground, is a central six-pointed star and a four-strand root system beneath each of the stems in the side panels. The top and sides panels are edged with simulated twisted rope.

    Notes: One of an unusual series formed from separate panels arranged, in this instance, with each vertical panel repeated. Because of its date and the use of the anchor motif, this much-copied plate is often referred to as the Armada fireback. No other connection with the sea battle is known. Other firebacks have been cast using some of the separate elements described above. The bottom panel which, unlike the other panels is separately edged with twisted rope, is likely to have been an addition to a later casting and not original.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: M.77-1957 (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: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15.

    Citation: Lloyd, N., 1925, 'Domestic Ironwork I', Architectural Review, 58, pp. 58-67.

  6. 788

    westerham,_squerryes court 02.jpg
    565 x 695 mm

    Description: Rectangular central panel bearing an anchor with coiled rope between two fleurs de lys, below which are two roses; this arrangement is repeated alongside; above, a semicircular arch contains the initials between two roses as in the central panel, with the date above; where the arch meets the central panel there is an arc across each corner; The top and sides panels are edged with simulated twisted rope.

    Notes: One of an unusual series formed from separate panels arranged, in this instance, with the vertical panel repeated.

    Copies of this fireback are known.

    Inscription: 1588 / IFC

    Manufactured: in 1588 in the Weald area of England.

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

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