This is a fire screen (missing its handle). A woman would use it to shield her face from the heat of a fire in a fireplace. An academy education for young ladies often included instruction in ornamental arts such as embroidery, drawing, and painting. This fire screen was painted by Mary Hawks (1799-1876) while she was attending Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1816-17. Pictured is Highbury House, the home of Alexander Aubert, who lived in London, England. He was particularly interested in astronomy, and can be seen in this image on his roof looking through a telescope.