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Model for Spiral Staircase

It is dated 19th century and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is pearwood. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

This scaled staircase model consists of an elegant spiral with two revolutions. A celebrated art form that was closely linked to the height of craft-specific guilds in France—woodworking in particular—staircase models were used to demonstrate technical mastery and virtuosity of the craft. The spiral staircase balances aesthetics with structural needs, taking its form from one of the most familiar motifs found in the natural world.

This object was donated by Eugene V. Thaw and Clare E. Thaw. It is credited Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 44 x 16.5 x 16.2 cm (17 5/16 x 6 1/2 x 6 3/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Model for Spiral Staircase; pearwood; H x W x D: 44 x 16.5 x 16.2 cm (17 5/16 x 6 1/2 x 6 3/8 in.); Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw; 2007-45-4

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Made to Scale: Staircase Masterpieces—The Eugene & Clare Thaw Gift.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Model for Spiral Staircase |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=29 May 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>