Bibliography - Art and domestic crafts: Firebacks
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Sussex Iron Fire Back, by Alexander Nesbit, published 1886 in Sussex Archæological Collections (vol. 34, notes & queries, p.259) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 2119] & The Keep [LIB/500252] & S.A.S. library   View Online

A Sussex Fireback, by Chas. J. Beetlestone, published 1926 in Sussex Archæological Collections (vol. 67, notes & queries, pp.221-222) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 2152] & The Keep [LIB/500285] & S.A.S. library

An Interesting Fireback [at East Grinstead], by E. W. Swanton, published November 1929 in Sussex Notes & Queries (vol. II no. 8, note, p.241) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 8951] & The Keep [LIB/500204] & S.A.S. library

Ann Forster Fireback, by Mr. D'Elboux, published August 1950 in Sussex Notes & Queries (vol. XIII no. 3, note, p.66) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 8231] & The Keep [LIB/500215] & S.A.S. library

Notes on an early fireback at Yale University, by Francis W. Steer, published January 1957 in Yale University Library Gazette (vol. 31, no. 3, article, pp.137-141)
The fireback was from Sussex.

Wealden Firebacks, by J. Manwaring Baines, published 1958 (Hastings: Hastings Museum) accessible at: The Keep [LIB/502351]

A Godly Chimney Plate and other Firebacks from Brede, by Jeremy Hodgkinson, published 2007 in Wealden Iron Research Group (Second Series No. 27, article, pp.18-26, ISSN: 0266-4402) accessible at: The Keep [LIB/506574]   Download PDF
If the spirituality of a people were to have been measured by the designs they cast on their firebacks, the English, or at least those who lived and worked in the Weald, would have been regarded as a godless lot in the sixteenth and early-seventeenth centuries. Before the influx of religious and classical fireback designs from the Low Countries, probably after the Restoration in 1660, English firebacks with religious subjects are rare.

Iron Firebacks: New survey and catalogue planned, by Jeremy Hodgkinson, published August 2008 in Sussex Past & Present (no. 115, article, p.7, ISSN: 1357-7417) accessible at: The Keep [LIB/500475] & S.A.S. library   View Online
A trawl through earlier volumes of the Sussex Archaeological Collections will demonstrate that the decorated cast-iron plates that sat in many an old farmhouse inglenook were of interest to antiquarians; The Gentleman's Magazine published a note on one found in Norwich as early as 1788. Firebacks were among the first objects that the Society acquired and the collection at Anne of Cleves House is possibly the largest in the country.

British Cast-iron Firebacks of the 16th to Mid 18th Centuries, by Jeremy Hodgkinson, published November 2010 (278 pp., Hodgers Books, ISBN-10: 0956672604 & ISBN-13: 9780956672605) accessible at: The Keep [LIB/501967] & West Sussex Libraries
Firebacks began to be made in Britain in the first half of the sixteenth century. From the purely functional purpose of protecting the back of the fireplace and reflecting heat into the room, it was not long before the opportunity was taken to embellish their plain surfaces. Their decoration provides us with a reflection of the social history of the times in which they were made, whether in the heraldry of royalty and the landed class, the religious and political turmoil of the Stuart period, or the beginnings of the Enlightenment and the rediscovery of classical literature.
Illustrated with more than 300 photographs, this first survey of British firebacks sets out to explore their development and variety, and to provide interpretation, where possible, of the decoration to be found on them. The illustrations are to scale so the relative sizes of firebacks can be compared, and there is a comprehensive gazetteer with full details of each fireback shown.

A Pope family fireback, by J. S. Hodgkinson, published 2013 in Wealden Iron Research Group (Second Series No. 33, article, pp.27-31, ISSN: 0266-4402) accessible at: The Keep [LIB/507841]   Download PDF
A cast-iron fireback has been identified as bearing the arms of the Pope family of Hendall, in Buxted. It has the date 1625 and the initials SP. The fireback appears to have been cast from a one-piece wooden pattern with arms carved in low relief within a shield embellished with strapwork motifs, which were typical of the early 17th century. The styling of the initials, on each side of the shield, suggests that they were carved as part of the original pattern. However, the date, which may well have been carved as a small stamp, appears to have been added to the mould before casting as it obliterates one of the fleur-de-lys embellishments above the shield.

Mystery of the Two Martyrs: Where are the firebacks now?, by Crispin Paine, published August 2013 in Sussex Past & Present (no. 130, article, pp.6-7, ISSN: 1357-7417) accessible at: The Keep [LIB/500475] & S.A.S. library   View Online
All museums contain mysteries or objects that are merely puzzling. This splendid cast-iron fireback, in the collection of the Society at Anne of Cleves House, is one.
Known as the 'The Sussex Martyrs fireback', it was part of the Every bequest; 1,250 objects left to the Society by ironmaster Alderman John Every in the early 1940s. On the back is inscribed "Sussex Martyrs / Burwash / cast August 1908 / Charles Dawson FSA."

The Two Martyrs Fireback: Further comments, by Jeremy Hodgkinson, published December 2013 in Sussex Past & Present (no. 131, article, p.8, ISSN: 1357-7417) accessible at: The Keep [LIB/507923] & S.A.S. library   View Online
I also entertained unkind thoughts towards Charles Dawson when I was researching my book on firebacks, and was relieved to discover that the original casting of the martyrs fireback had not been one of his enterprises. Some further information about the Burwash example referred to by Reverend Egerton can be gleaned from an article by J T Balcomb in The Art Journal of November 1886.

The Two Martyrs Fireback: Further comments, by Dr Paul Quinn, published December 2013 in Sussex Past & Present (no. 131, article, p.8, ISSN: 1357-7417) accessible at: The Keep [LIB/507923] & S.A.S. library   View Online
Crispin Paine's fascinating discussion of the 'Sussex Martyrs' fireback in the August edition of Sussex Past & Present raises the intriguing possibility that the image on the fireback is based on two woodcuts found in the 1570 edition of Foxe's Acts and Monuments. The suggestion that the fireback is based upon the image of the martyrdom of Simon Miller and Elizabeth Cooper at Norwich is interesting but problematic.

The 'Europe' fireback at Preston Manor, Brighton, by Jeremy Hodgkinson, published 2016 in Sussex Archæological Collections (vol. 154, short article, pp.297-299) accessible at: W.S.R.O. [Lib 18939] & The Keep [LIB/509465] & S.A.S. library