Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

2013

2019

Drawing, Double Spiral Staircase Elevation and Plan View

This is a Drawing. It was designed by Adolph Bordeaux. Its medium is pen and black ink, brush and light blue, grey watercolor, graphite on cream paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw’s generous gift of their collection of architectural models for staircases will be the subject of a forthcoming Cooper-Hewitt exhibition.
This is one of 10 meticulous staircase schematic drawings from the Thaw collection, presented as a gift to accompany the staircase models. The drawings are by Adolph Bordeaux, a journeyman of the compagnonnage movement doing his master tour in the 1880s.
Bordeaux’s rigorous training is evidenced by the accuracy and precision of these scale drawings. Initially, the journeyman candidate worked for five to seven years perfecting all aspects of the craft—in this case, the joinery associated with constructing spiral staircases—from the planning and drafting to the construction of the models. He would then continue his education with travel to various cities in France to study specific details from master craftsmen. This cycle of travel from city to city was known as Le Tour de France. In each city, the candidate would desig

This object was donated by Eugene V. Thaw and Clare E. Thaw.

Cite this object as

Drawing, Double Spiral Staircase Elevation and Plan View; Designed by Adolph Bordeaux (French, active 1880–1890); France; pen and black ink, brush and light blue, grey watercolor, graphite on cream paper; 2007-53-6

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18705665/ |title=Drawing, Double Spiral Staircase Elevation and Plan View |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=13 November 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>