Firebacks

Manufactured in 1655

  1. 123

    hastings_013.jpg
    560 x 510 mm

    Description: Rectangular; top panel with bearded face between symmetrical horizontal scrolls, and faces at either end; scrolls are repeated below, on either side of the date, all above a horizontal double fillet; below, a pair of arches with guilloche decoration between fillets, and toothed on the underside, are supported on each side by Tuscan columns, also with guilloche decoration; this is repeated in symmetrical rectangular panels on either side; at the centre base a bulbous nozzle protrudes.

    Notes: This is a smith's forge fireback, the nozzle being the tuyere directing the air into the fire from bellows behind. Stylistically similar to the Lenard and other firebacks of the same period, the carved elements above the nozzle may have been cast from a pattern inspired by the back of a joined 'wainscot' chair, with the date inserted. The back may have been used for forging non-ferrous metals as there was a trade in pot-founding in bronze as well as iron at some ironworks in the Weald.

    Inscription: 1655

    Manufactured: in 1655 in the Weald area of England.

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

    Museum number: 952.51.62 (part of the Hastings Museum museum group)

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

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2012, 'Pre-Restoration Iron Firebacks', Journal of the Antique Metalware Society, 20, pp. 2-15

    Citation: Hodgkinson, J. S., 2014, 'A Seventeenth-Century Sussex Woodcarver: The Evidence of Cast Ironwork', Regional Furniture, 28, pp. 39-48

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

  2. 1091

    thornbury,_the freeth.jpg
    ~1000 x ~700 mm

    Description: Arched rectangular shape; twisted rope edging (top and sides); date in arch; initials in triads in top corners.

    Notes: A fireback at Cotehele House in Cornwall, dated 1647 and bearing the initials AA, which may have come from Longden Hall, south-west of Shrewsbury in Shropshire, and was purchased by the National Trust from Longden Parish Council in the early 1970s, is similar in both its shape and style

    Inscription: 1655 / RWA [triad] / RWA [triad]

    Manufactured: in 1655 in England.

    Current location: The Freeth, Thornbury, Herefordshire, England.

    Citation: Royal Commission on Historical Monuments of England, 1932, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 2: East (London, HMSO).