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2006

2007

  • We acquired this object.

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  • You found it!

Drawing, Perspective and Plan View of a Spiral Staircase, January 1887

This is a Drawing. It was model maker: Adolph Bordeaux. It is dated January 1887 and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is graphite, brush and watercolor, pen and black ink 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

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

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Its dimensions are

56.8 x 41.8 cm (22 3/8 x 16 7/16 in.) Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22 in.)

It is signed

Inscribed in black ink, upper left: Perspective d’un Ecalier / formant a le demi rond / dans le you[?] Signed in black ink, lower right: Fait a Marseille / en Janvier 1887 / Adolph Bordeaux Signed in black ink, lower right: Fait a Marseille / en Janvier 1887 / Adolph Bordeaux

It is inscribed

Inscribed in black ink, upper left: Perspective d’un Ecalier / formant a le demi rond / dans le you[?]

Cite this object as

Drawing, Perspective and Plan View of a Spiral Staircase, January 1887; Model maker: Adolph Bordeaux (French, active 1880–1890); France; graphite, brush and watercolor, pen and black ink on cream laid paper; 56.8 x 41.8 cm (22 3/8 x 16 7/16 in.) Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22 in.); Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw; 2007-53-2

In addition to Models & Prototypes Gallery: Thaw Models, this object was previously on display as part of the exhibition Made to Scale: Staircase Masterpieces—The Eugene & Clare Thaw Gift.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18705657/ |title=Drawing, Perspective and Plan View of a Spiral Staircase, January 1887 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=24 May 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>