Drawing, Plan View of a Double Spiral Staircase with Central Landing, ca. 1884
This is a Drawing. It was model maker: Adolph Bordeaux. It is dated ca. 1884 and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is pen and black, red and green ink over graphite on cream laid 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
Its dimensions are
Sheet: 47.6 x 49.7 cm (18 3/4 x 19 9/16 in.)
Cite this object as
Drawing, Plan View of a Double Spiral Staircase with Central Landing, ca. 1884; Model maker: Adolph Bordeaux (French, active 1880–1890); pen and black, red and green ink over graphite on cream laid paper; Sheet: 47.6 x 49.7 cm (18 3/4 x 19 9/16 in.); Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw; 2007-53-10
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Made to Scale: Staircase Masterpieces—The Eugene & Clare Thaw Gift.