The screen was supplied to Dr. and Mrs. Egil Boeckmann in 1916 by Charles R. Vandell & Co. of New York, 'manufacturers of solid leather screens and wall hangings' where it was described as 'one three fold leather screen-bordered design Chinese in character - made expressly to order special height and width.' The Boeckmanns employed the architect David Adler in the 1920s to build their elegant St. Paul home as well as their country estate on White Bear Lake which he later expanded over the years. Mrs. Boeckmann, who was the key decision-maker on such projects, was the daughter of railway magnate, James J. Hill (David Adler, Architect: The Elements of Style, Chicago, 2002, pp. 125-126). Even with Adler's involvement, Mrs. Boeckmann continued to make various purchases herself. Her homes were furnished with eighteenth century objects as well as contemporary pieces in the period style.
The screen is designed in the manner of chinoiserie decorated gilt leather panels produced in the Netherlands and England in the eighteenth century (E. Koldeweij, 'Gilt Leather Hangings in Chinoiserie and Other Styles: An English Speciality', Furniture History, 2000, p. 61-101). Only six sets of period English hangings are known to survive, two of which remain in England: at Honnington Hall, Warwickshire and the Victoria and Albert Museum (op. cit., figs. 1 and 15) while a number of screens exist. The black-and-white pagoda floor on this example features on a signed screen of 1766 by John Footman at Huis Doorn, The Netherlands (ibid, fig. 14) while the treatment of the garden wall takes inspiration from the Victoria and Albert's undocumented example.