Fire Board

New England

c. 1820-1830

oil on wood

29" x 38"

Provenance: M. Austin and Jill R. Fine Collection

This fireboard, with its central vase filled with pink blossoms surrounded by faux tile borders, relates to five other examples attributed to itinerant painter Rufus Porter (1792-1884). The upper tiles are enhanced with the addition of a hunter and his dog chasing squirrels up a tree; a similar motif can be found in a wall mural by Porter for the Prescott Tavern in East Jaffrey, New Hampshire (see Lipman, “Rufus Porter Rediscovered: Artist, Inventor, Journalist, 1792-1884,” (1980), pl. 2, p. 159). For the related examples, see: Little, “Little by Little: Six Decades of Collecting American Decorative Arts,” (1984), fig. 130, p. 197; The Arthur & Sybil Kern Collection, Skinner, 12-13 August 2018, lot 306; The Collection of Claude and Alvan Bisnoff, Northeast Auctions, 27 October 2007, lot 31; Sotheby’s, New York, 20 January 2005, lot 976; Lipman, “The Flowering of American Folk Art,” (1974), p. 202, cat. 270.