Standing Screen
Original Author: Unknown
Created: 1710–1745
Medium: Leather-covered standing screen

Standing Screen

This rare standing screen, covered with leather over a red pine frame, is believed to be the only extant eighteenth-century standing screen with an American provenance. Made in Great Britain, the screen was probably first owned by William Beverley (ca. 1696–1756) from Essex County and passed down through his family's plantation, Blandfield, where it remained until 1983. The individual hinged panels measure eight feet high and four feet wide. Screens such as this one were commonplace in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century homes. Hinged and moveable, screens served both decorative and practical functions. Usually placed near doorways, the screens blocked cold drafts and provided privacy. The leather panels of this screen were painted and scorched to create an intricate damask pattern that is now largely invisible due to oxidation damage caused by harsh storage conditions over many decades.