Staircase from the Blandeck [Blendecques] tin mill near Saint-Omer

AnonymousCirca 1780

Musée des arts et métiers

Musée des arts et métiers

This spiral staircase has eight balanced flights that give the load-bearing stringer a remarkable double-helix structure. It is a technical feat by a craftsman with a sound grounding in geometry, which probably explains why it entered the Conservatory's collections in the early 19th century. The work may have been the "masterpiece" of a skilful journeyman carpenter, but all the evidence suggests it was a model of the staircase in the main building at the Blendecques mill, later called the "Château Montreyan". Resembling the tidy architecture of a square pavilion, like the double helix staircase in the casting room of Buffon's forges it probably helped lend metal production a noble air. The Blendecques "tin mill" built in 1777 was probably designed in imitation of an English factory. In addition to showing off a carpenter's skills, this staircase is a splendid example of late 19th-century industrial architecture.

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  • Title: Staircase from the Blandeck [Blendecques] tin mill near Saint-Omer
  • Creator: Anonymous
  • Date: Circa 1780
  • Date Created: Circa 1780
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: Model 1/12
  • Provenance: Musée des arts et métiers
  • Subject Keywords: Construction civile / Construction industrielle
  • Type: Bois, fer
  • Contributor: Author : Olivier Delarozière
  • Inventory number: Inv. 01172
  • Credits: © Musée des arts et métiers-Cnam/photo Sylvain Pelly