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The fire screen was introduced during the Rococo period. The London
cabinetmaker Thomas Sheraton explained its use as “to shelter the face or legs from the
fire,” to retain heat and block drafts. His contemporary George Hepplewhite
recommended that “screens may be ornamented variously, with maps, Chinese
figures, needle-work, etc.,” the latter providing a highly visible display for the lady
of the household’s stitchery. The Philadelphia cabinetmaker’s price lists
specify a fire screen similar to this example, with claw feet, “Leaves on the knees,”
and “fluting the Pillars” for exactly the same charge as a folding stand with
carved feet, leaves, and a plain top.
Book excerpt: Warren, David B., Michael K. Brown, Elizabeth Ann Coleman, and Emily Ballew Neff. American Decorative Arts and Paintings in the Bayou Bend Collection. Houston: Princeton Univ. Press, 1998.
Cataloguing data may change with further research.
If you have questions about this work of art or the MFAH Online Collection please contact us.
- c. 1750–1800
- Mahogany, black walnut, and needlework
- 59 1/2 × 22 1/8 × 19 1/2 in. (151.1 × 56.2 × 49.5 cm)
- Credit Line
The Bayou Bend Collection, gift of Miss Ima Hogg
- Current Location
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens
- Accession Number
[American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York, November 4, 1933]; [Ginsburg & Levy, New York, 1933–1956]; purchased by Miss Ima Hogg, July 3, 1956; given to MFAH.