spiral

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with central column around which a bombe spiral staircase rotates terminating in a similarly curved inverted cone form standing area of the pulpit surmounted by a carved scroll canopy attached above to the column, all resting a rectangular geometrically inlaid marquetry floor-base
A Staircase to Heaven?
There are many types of staircase models in the Thaw collection, much of which was donated in 2007 to Cooper Hewitt, to coincide with an exhibition Made to Scale: Staircase Masterpieces The Eugene and Clare Thaw Gift that I was lucky enough to curate after studying their significance for the acquisition. Joan K. Davidson, whose...
Staircase Model, Curved Double-level with busts of François-Marie Arouet, called Voltaire (1694-1778) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)
France, early 19th century
Veneered mahogany, ebony, pear or maple wood, on mahogany, solid mahogany; solid oak with veneered border (base)  
Gift of Eugene V and Clare Thaw, 2007-45-12
Philosophers don’t condescend
I fell in love with this model the first time I saw it, and every time I see it I still smile. With its sophisticated use of materials, including that of Sèvres busts, and the humor of juxtaposing the two great French philosophers of the eighteenth century, Voltaire and Rousseau, it displays itself as a...
Spiral staircase model with curved stringboards, on a circular base on bun feet.
The Perfect Spiral
This seemingly simple model is actually one of the most accomplished of the staircase models produced in the compagnonnage tradition in France during the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. This meritocratic system of craftsmanship outside the traditional guilds started in the middle ages but reached its zenith after the French revolution when royal patronage...
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At Home from Roof to Basement
View from Central Park Yes, I’m starting to feel at home at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, having started work here this week. On the first day Angela Hall, who looks after everyone’s well being here, gave me a complete tour of the place. She introduced me to more than sixty people and showed me...