In my shop, I describe firebacks as an original if they were cast in the period of time respective to their style (renaissance, baroque, Roccoco, Biedermeier, Louis XIV., Louis XV. etc.) or if
they have accurate dating inscribed on them.
It was not uncommon at all that Firebacks from past epochs were recast at a later time. Therefore there are e.g. pieces that contain motifs from the renaissance epoch but that were cast only in the 19th century. These pieces are labelled “Recast” in the online shop.
Specialists can easily guess the time of creation of a fireback on the basis of several clues (surface structure, backside, frames, corrosion, imperfect casting etc.). Yet there is always a certain uncertainty when it comes to the accurate dating. In case of doubt I tend to date the casts younger to guarantee you are given the minimum age of the piece.
On no account will you be able to purchase a fireback from me that has only been cast recently. Every offered fireback has already been in use for its given purpose, as fireback, stoveplate or Takenplatte, or has been used additionally as a decorative object.