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A fireboard or chimney board is a panel designed to cover a fireplace during the warm months of the year.[1] It was "commonly used during the later 18th and early 19th centuries"[2] in places like France and New England. In warm weather, "a fireboard effectively reduced the number of mosquitoes and other insects, or even birds, that might enter a house through an open, damperless chimney."[3] The "board or shutterlike contrivance" typically "of wood or cast of sheet metal"[4] is "frequently decorated with painting and stencilling."[2] Some fireboards have notches cut out of the lowest edge to accommodate andirons.[3] Fireboards are also called: chimney boards, chimney pieces, chimney stops, fire boards, summer boards.

Among the many artists who have produced ornamental fireboards: Robert Adam; Winthrop Chandler (1747–1790);[1] Andien de Clermont;[5] Charles Codman;[1] Michele Felice Cornè;[1] Edward Hicks;[6] Jean-Baptiste Oudry;[5] Rufus Porter.[1] Examples of decorated fireboards are in numerous collections, including: Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts;[7] Historic New England; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA;[8] Peabody Essex Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum.



  1. ^ a b c d e Stacy C. Hollander (2004). "Fireboards and Overmantels". Encyclopedia of American Folk Art. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415929868.
  2. ^ a b Betsy Krieg Salm (2010). Women's Painted Furniture, 1790-1830: American Schoolgirl Art. NH: University Press of New England. ISBN 9781584658450.
  3. ^ a b Jane C. Nylander (1994). Our Own Snug Fireside: Images of the New England Home, 1760-1860. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780394549842.
  4. ^ Russell Sturgis (1901), A Dictionary of Architecture and Building, New York: Macmillan Company
  5. ^ a b Clare Graham (2008). Dummy Boards and Chimney Boards. UK: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9780852639214.
  6. ^ Grove Encyclopedia of American Art. Oxford University Press. 2011. ISBN 9780199739264.
  7. ^ "Collections Database". Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
  8. ^ National Gallery of Art (US); Deborah Chotner (1992). American Naive Paintings. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780894681738.

Further reading[edit]

  • "Ornamental Chimney Boards". Cassell's Household Guide. 2. London: Cassell, Petter & Galpin. 1877.

External links[edit]