Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Fire back

Fire back

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700-1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast iron, inscribed

  • Museum number:

    494-1901

  • Gallery location:

    Ironwork, Room 114a, case EXP

Physical description

Fireback made of cast iron. The fireback features the ironmaster, who is shown with his dog and the tools and products of his trade. In the bottom left hand corner is the furnace with its tall chimney.

Place of Origin

England (made)

Date

ca. 1700-1750 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Cast iron, inscribed

Dimensions

Height: 54 cm, Width: 49.5 cm, Depth: 2.5 cm

Object history note

The version of which this is a casting is dated 1639, but may be a later remodelling based on a 1636 original in Anne of Cleves' House Museum, Lewes, Sussex. This has the inscription RICHARD LENARD FOUNDER AT BRED FOURNIS. The ironmaster, who had the founder at Brede, Sussex from 1605 is shown with his dog and the tools and products of his trade. In the bottom left hand corner is the furnace with its tall chimney - one of the earliest images of a British foundry. The Museum's version lacks the inscription, date and shield, and its surface is less crisp, suggesting that it may be a later casting of a popular pattern.

Descriptive line

Fireback, cast iron, featuring the ironmaster, his dog and the tools of his trade, England, ca. 1700-1750

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

fig.32, p.30
Gloag, John and Derek Bridgwater. A history of cast iron in architecture. London : G. Allen and Unwin. 1948. 395p., ill.
fig.25, p.159
Gardner, John Starkie. Ironwork. Part 2: Continental ironwork of the renaissance and later periods. London, 1896.
Jenkins, R. The Rise and Fall of the Sussex Iron Industry. Transactions of the Newcomen Society. I, 1920-1. pp.1-18, pl. I.
Lloyd, N. Domestic Ironwork. I. Firebacks. Archaeological Review. LVIII, 1925. pp.58-67, pl.II
Ames, A. Collecting Cast Iron. Ashbroune, 1980. Fig.31.
Fearn, J. Cast Iron. Shire Publications, 1990. p.5.
Roberts & Co. Trade Catalogue. Period Grates and Fireplace Accessories. 1925. Section IV, p.23, R.19.
Christian, G. The Skill of the Ironmaster. Sussex Archeological Society, 1955.

Labels and date

FIREBACK
Cast iron
England; 1700-50

The model for this example is a dated fireback of 1636 in Anne of Cleves' House Museum, Lewes, Sussex (see photograph opposite). This has the inscription RICHARD LENARD FOUNDER AT BRED FOURNIS. The ironmaster, who had the founder at Brede, Sussex from 1605 is shown with his dog and the tools and products of his trade. In the bottom left hand corner is the furnace with its tall chimney - one of the earliest images of a British foundry. The Museum's version lacks the inscription, date and shield, and its surface is less crisp, suggesting that it may be a later casting of a popular pattern.

C. Herbert Shoppee Collection
Museum No. 494-1901 [07/1994]

Materials

Cast iron

Techniques

Casting; Inscribing

Categories

Metalwork; Household objects; Ironwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.