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Staircase Model (France)

This is a staircase model. It was manufactured by Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory. It is dated early 19th century and we acquired it in 2007. Its medium is mahogany, ebony, pear or sycamore, oak; biscuit porcelain. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

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 object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled An Enlightened Staircase.

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

  • Boullée Chair Model
  • painted wood, felt, cardboard.
  • Gift of David McCorkle and Ernest Hood.
  • 2010-12-23

Our curators have highlighted 9 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Vase (USA)
  • favrile glass.
  • Bequest of Joseph L. Morris.
  • 1966-55-1

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.)

Cite this object as

Staircase Model (France); Manufactured by Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory (France); mahogany, ebony, pear or sycamore, oak; biscuit porcelain; H x W x D: 68 x 48.3 x 41 cm (26 3/4 in. x 19 in. x 16 1/8 in.); Gift of Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw; 2007-45-12

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Staircase Model (France) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 June 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>