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Fire back

Fire back

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    1700-1750 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast iron

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Ironwork, Room 113, case WS

Physical description

Cast iron fireback.

Place of Origin

England (made)


1700-1750 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cast iron

Marks and inscriptions

Ornamental shell


Height: 87 cm, Width: 69.5 cm, Depth: 6 cm

Object history note

The arms on the grave in Battle church, which are also of Worge impaling Collier, are not in iron but in slate. However, the same arms appear on another fireback, dated 1762, at Great Dixter, Northiam, Sussex. The date must be post-1729. The existence of another fireback, with a different design in place of the armorial, shows that it was formed from an untypically elaborate, rococo pattern, which could be ‘personalised’ by the addition of a design element placed within a circular aperture [information from Jeremy Hodgkinson, 2013].

Descriptive line

Fireback, cast iron, England, 1700-1750.

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

Butterfield, W. Ruskin. Old Wealden Firebacks. The Connoisseur. Dec. 1916. pp.197-206.
Lloyd, N. Domestic Ironwork. I. Firebacks. Archaeological Review. LVIII, 1925. pp.58-67.
Melville, J. Any Old Iron? Art and Antiques Weekly. July 22nd 1972. pp.18-21.
Starkie Gardner, J. Iron Casting in the Weald. Archaeologie. LVI, May 12th 1898. pp.133-164.
fig. 160, pp. 128, 242
Hodgkinson, Jeremy. British Cast-Iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid-18th Centuries. Crawley: HodgersBooks. 2010

Labels and date

Cast iron
England; 1700-50

The arms may be those of a George Worge of Starrs Green, Battle, Sussex (1705-65) incorporating those of Elizabeth, coheiress of Collier of Hastings (d. 1767), whom he married in 1729. The same arms occur on a cast iron grave slab in Battle Church.

Museum No. 686-1899 [07/1994]


Cast iron


Forging (metal forming)

Subjects depicted



Metalwork; Household objects; Ironwork


Metalwork Collection

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