Dummy Boards

Dummy board figures, sometimes known as Silent Companions, are flat paintings done on wood in the realistic style known as trompe lʼoeil (literally, "deceiving the eye") or the illusionistic style of painting popular in the 17th century, then cut and shaped in outline to fabricate the figure of a person, an animal or an inanimate object. Read a brief history of the dummy board

I have spent many years researching historic dummy boards, investigating more than 500 different examples from all parts of the world, and am now one of the foremost historians in this field. I am currently putting together a book, "This Quiet Life", on the subject and would welcome discussion of any figures that you own or have seen. I am quite willing to help antique dealers, museums, history professionals, art historians and students with any study of particular dummy board figures they might be undertaking.

I am also available for lectures and research. Should you like me to come and give a talk on "The Dummy Board Figure - A Forgotten Folk Art Form", to your art society or club, please email me. My talk is illustrated with a Powerpoint display, full sized replica figures and several hand painted miniature figures.

Below are just some of the figures I have painted in miniature and life-size. These are in private collections across the world.