Firebacks served the practical (and valuable) purpose of protecting the bricks lining a fireplace from heat damage. The firebacks at Mount Vernon, emblazoned with George Washington's crest and monogram, additionally served as a tangible reminder that he was master of this mansion and the profitable estate on which it stood. Washington custom ordered the "4 Chimney Backs & 8 side Plates or Jambs" in June and August of 1787 through Batsto Furnace's Philadelphia agent, Charles Pettit (1736-1806). The finished products arrived at Mount Vernon in late November. Two of the four sets still remain in place in the West Parlor and Washington Bedchamber. More






Cast iron


Overall (Depth is along top edge): 33 1/2 in. x 38 3/4 in. x 1 in. (85.09 cm x 98.43 cm x 2.54 cm)
Overall (Jambs): 42 in. x 17 3/4 in. x 1 in. (106.68 cm x 45.09 cm x 2.54 cm)
Overall (Decoration): 11 1/4 in. x 7 1/2 in. (28.58 cm x 19.05 cm)


Transferred to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association through the generosity of John Augustine Washington III, 1860

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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