Firebacks, Accessories

1772 fireback

#97054

Firebacks—cast-iron slabs embedded in a fireplace to reflect heat into a room—are roughly similar, depending on when and where they were produced. French ones of the 19th century are generally neoclassical, while Flemish ones of the 16th century show biblical scenes. Dates, names, and acronyms such as “IHS” (for “in hoc signo,” i.e., “under the Christian cross”) are common. This imposing fireback combines two familiar elements with one that is very rare. The first two are the date of casting, 1772, and the double-pillar motif, most possibly the Pillars of Hercules -- a symbol of strength and power. The unfamiliar element is “IFT.” The owner’s initials? Shorthand for a religious phrase? The casting furnace's name? We don’t know, but you can challenge your guests to come up with suggestions.

Classification

Antique

AGE

243

MATERIAL

Cast Iron

STYLE

Louis XV

PERIOD

Late 18th Century

Overall Dimensions

Width: 32 " / 81 cm
Height: 25,5 " / 65 cm