Exhibition Spiral Staircase Model
Exhibition Spiral Staircase Model
Exhibition Spiral Staircase Model
Exhibition Spiral Staircase Model
Exhibition Spiral Staircase Model
Exhibition Spiral Staircase Model

Exhibition Spiral Staircase Model

c. 1850 England

Offered by Thomas Coulborn & Sons


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Wooden model of a spiral staircase. Various exotic woods.

This exquisite model staircase, standing on animal-carved feet with ivory claws and with carved balustrading, is one of the most beautifully constructed and ambitious works of art of its kind. Produced around the time of The Great Exhibition, it may have been produced with such an event in mind. It is very similar to an exhibit displayed in Class IV:30 of the 1852 Exhibition: ‘Sculpture, models, and plastic art, mosaics enamels etc’ by W. Seager from Tavistock; an ‘inventor and manufacturer’.

The exhibition catalogue describes a ‘model of a geometric staircase, with a double hand-rail in rosewood, with baluster carved in wood and bronzed, the floor inlaid with different sorts of wood, cornice and columns of the Ionic order, made of sycamore.’ It is interesting to note the similarities in the description – in particular the parquetry floor, and the double hand rail of rosewood, but the other details indicate it is not the same piece. It could suggest the same maker perhaps, but unfortunately the records for W. Seager of Tavistock are sparse. It is a shame that the maker’s identity remains unknown, as his work is a masterpiece of both design and execution.

There is a collection of French staircase models at the Musee de Compagnonnage, and a significant collection held at the Cooper Hewitt Museum which was acquired as The Eugene & Clare Thaw Gift.
• V&A Search the Collections public database
• 'The Great Exhibition 1851 Official Descriptive and Illustrated Catalogue, London: Spicer Brothers' (1851) vols I, II.IV, III.I
• 'Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851: Reports by the juries on the subjects in the thirty classes into which the exhibition was divided', London: Royal Commission (1852) vol II
• 'The Official Illustrated Catalogue, the International Exhibition of 1862', London: Royal Commission (1862)
• Purves Marwick, T., 'Staircases' (Edinburgh: J. & J. Gray), 1888
Height 76.25 cm (30.02 inches)
Width 45.75 cm (18.01 inches)
Depth 45.75 cm (18.01 inches)
Stock Code
Various exotic woods
circa 1850
Thomas Coulborn & Sons

Thomas Coulborn & Sons
Vesey Manor
64 Birmingham Road
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands
B72 1QP

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