Dummy boards, in the form of soldiers, servants, children and animals, have been used to deceive and amuse since the early 17th Century. Their popularity seems to have been promoted by the painter Cornelius Bisschop (b.1630) and an illustration of a male figure that appeared in the Compleat Gamester in 1674. As early as 1545 the Italian architect Serlio had recommended the use of statues painted on cut-out board for use on the stage and also referred to the practice of depicting living creatures. Many figures of dogs and cats were produced, while the Victoria and Albert Museum has a figure of a pig. A life-size painted lion, perhaps from a circus or pleasure ground, is also known to exist in a private collection (Clare Graham, Dummy Boards and Chimney Boards, Haverfordwest, 1988).