First used about 450-500 years ago to reflect and disperse heat from the fireplace, another potential use for a fireback is in the kitchen as a backsplash above a stove. Our cast iron fireback from the 1900’s depicts the Arms of France, which is a heraldic display of three fleur de lys. The square fireback has an arched top and a textured border that runs along all sides. Beneath the arch is a crinkled ribbon that runs behind the fleur de lys finial of a closed crown. The crown tops a scrolled shield that contains the Arms of France. A scalloped shell embellishes the base of the coat of arms, with a sprawling floral margent emanating from behind it. The thick ornamentation, set in deep relief, is still relatively intact, despite some light fading near the bottom of the iron.
Today, firebacks are still used to disperse heat from fireplaces. The iron also adds a bit of life and character to the typically banal fireboxes of mantels and fireplaces. Our Arms of France fireback can also be installed architecturally as a stove backsplash or decorative piece of art.
CONDITION: Very strong condition. The iron has been cleaned, pigmented, and waxed, allowing the motifs to be seen more clearly. Wear commensurate with age and use, including some faded elements. Fleabites as a result of impurities in the casting process.