Firebacks originated in France in the fifteenth century with their main purpose being to protect the clay fire chamber from the effects of heat, there was also the added benefit of retaining and radiating heat back into the room. They can increase heat efficiency by up to 50%! Firebacks would originally have been cast in a local blacksmiths foundry for the nobility or local noteworthy families, therefore they tended to be highly decorated for that specific family in designs that illustrated their heritage. The Royalty would also commission firebacks with designs incorporating coats of arms and politics also played a big part with social events being portrayed. You will also see them designed for reputable tradesmen highlighting their skills. As well as their intended purpose we have also noticed a recent fashion for using them as kitchen splashbacks!
Lion & Unicorn Fireback – late 19th Century. Classic fireback design showing the lion and unicorn flanking a crest topped with a crown, 24″ x 20″, £220 + vat. FPB0009
The Royal Oak Fireback – 20th Century depicting the oak tree in which Charles II hid at the end of the English Civil war, 34″ x 29″, SOLD
Rose & Portcullis Fireback – two symbols that appeared in the badges of the Tudors starting with Henry VII, 16″ x 22″, £180 + vat. FPB0004
Neoclassical Fireback – 19th Century depicting a man, woman and child, 12¼” x 16″, £120 + vat. FPB0006
Fishermen Fireback – late 20th Century depicting a fishing scene, 20½” x 22½”, £120 + vat. FPB0003
Coat of Arms Fireback – late 20th Century with a coat of arms and the motto ‘In God We Trust’, 21″ x 16″, £95 + vat. FPB0005
1812 Fireback – large dated simple fireback, 36″ x 30″, SOLD
Woman with Snake Fireback – 19th Century depicting a woman holding a snake (presumably Eve), 16½” x 23″. £185 + vat. FPBSOR1
Please click on the main picture to bring up a slideshow with identifying names.
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