Description: Rectangular, with double fillet edging (top and sides); fillets parallel to top and to each side, dividing the plate into two square corner panels and narrow rectangular panels along top and down each side; fillet arc across inside top corners; date split between top corners, divided by vertical fillets, and separated by a hollow saltire stamp repeated six times; one hollow saltire, with a central bead, between each corner arc; eight similar saltire stamps down each side panel; 27 'daisy heads' arranged regularly around outer edge of central panel, with five saltires arranged in a cross shape in the centre.
Notes: The arc shape and use of repeated 'daisy heads' suggests a common source with other firebacks of the same period; the poor definition is due to insufficient impression at the moulding stage.
Inscription: 17 02
Current location: Tolsey Museum, 126 High Street, Burford, Oxfordshire, England.
(part of the Tolsey Museum, Burford museum group)
Description: Cavetto-canted rectangle with central pediment; cyma-reversa moulded edging; central pedimented panel, fillet edged, with shield, helm, crest and mantling of the May family; on either side, an incised floral pattern of a stem and six branches, rising from a rectangular, low-relief panel of two images of horsemen; above, the inscription in low relief.
Notes: The arms of May: Gules, a fess between eight billets Or; crest: Out of a ducal coronet Or, a lion’s head gules bezanty; the same armorial stamp appears to have been used on an unnamed iron graveslab in Ticehurst church. The initials are probably those of Susanna May (c1653-1718), heir to Pashley, in Ticehurst, who had married her distant cousin, Sir Robert May, in 1686. The May family had been involved in the iron industry in the 16th and early 17th centuries, but were no longer active a century later. Incised decoration on firebacks is uncommon, the decoration probably having been incised into the pattern board.
Inscription: 17S M02
Arms: May of Pashley, Ticehurst
Current location: in private hands, Ticehurst, East Sussex, England.
- Attached to series:
- Personal armorial firebacks