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What is this?

Model of a curved double staircase reaching a landing and continuing up as a single stair; steps and risers inlaid in contrasting wood to emulate carpet; busts of Francois-Marie Arouet, called Voltaire (1694-1778), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) made of Sèvres biscuit porcelain on newel posts at top.

Why is this in our collection?

This double revolution staircase is unmistakably a masterwork, confirmed by details such as the carefully turned, ebony balusters and the sophisticated veneering used to create an inlaid “carpet.” A hint of revolutionary politics is introduced through a juxtaposition of Sèvres biscuit porcelain busts of the French philosophers Voltaire (left) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (right).

This is a staircase model from France. It is dated early 19th century and we acquired it in 2007. Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw.

This image is on display This object is currently on display in room 212 as part of Models & Prototypes Gallery: Thaw Models.

Its medium is

cut, joined, and inlaid mahogany, ebony, pear or sycamore, oak, molded biscuit porcelain (busts)

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 68 x 48.3 x 41 cm (26 3/4 in. x 19 in. x 16 1/8 in.)

This object was donated by Eugene V. Thaw

A timeline of event horizons

See more stuff from the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

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

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Staircase Model (France), early 19th century |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=31 July 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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