Available in two sizes; Standard and Medium.
Standard: 18″ by 14″, 12kg / Medium: 21.75″ by 14.25″, 16kg
Kingsworthy Foundry is perhaps best known for its popular range of open fire equipment and vast range of accessories.
Following in the footsteps of early foundries, skilled pattern makers reproduced versions of historic firebacks using traditional methods and foundry-men would create the casting by hand pouring molten iron into the sand moulding.
Firebacks produced in this way have decoration on one side only, they are incredibly heavy and robust and very slow to corrode.
Firebacks and firedogs were first made in the early 16th century as a side line of iron foundries who were mainly engaged in casting cannons. England had upwards of 150 foundries with skilled pattern makers (the envy of Spain and other powers at the time).
With the incorporation of chimneys into domestic dwellings, early firebacks served a purely functional purpose – as a fire against the wall (instead of in the middle of the room) became the norm it became necessary to protect the wall from the heat.
In doing so it was discovered that the fireback reflected heat into the room instead of absorbing it, as the brick and stone did, at the same time as acting as a heat store – as the fire died down, the casting would slowly release the stored heat into the room. It was not long before their decorative potential was realised and the opportunity taken to embellish the plain iron plates with everyday objects, then specially made stamps and finally by casting them with entire carved patterns.
Firebacks provide us with a unique reflection of our ancestors social history at the point in time 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 rediscovery of classical literature.