Mrs. Carlyle's screen
A four-fold screen, English, decorated 1849, applied with monochrome images of figures, animals, landscapes to either side, the panels to the front of the screen with a border of dots. The prints are mostly nineteenth century etchings, engravings and lithographs, some with remains of hand colouring. There are also a few watercolours.
Mrs. Carlyle wrote to Jean Carlyle Aitken in May 1849, 'Meanwhile I have been busy, off and on, for a great many weeks in pasting a screen, with four leaves, five feet high, all over with prints. it will be a charming "work of art" when finished..'. Thomas Carlyle in his will specifically referenced the screen, 'I give and bequeath the Screen which stands in the Drawing-room....to my dear Niece, Mary Carlyle Aitken, who best knows the value I have always put upon it, and will best take care of it to the end of her life when I am gone. She knows by whom it was made, and I wish her to accept it as a testimony of the trust I repose in her, and as a mark of my esteem for her honourable, veracious and faithful character, and a memorial of all the king and ever faithful service she done me.'. By descent, Presented to the Carlyle's House Memorial Trust by Alexander Carlyle between 1896 and 1937. The National Trust took over the management of Carlyle's House in 1936.