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Newel post

  • Place of origin:

    Brussels (city) (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1770-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oak, originally painted light green and gold

  • Museum number:

    864-1898

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This carved oak newel post must once have formed part of a staircase, providing an impressive fixing point for the banister. There are still traces of light green paint and gilding in crevices in the carving, indicating that the post was finished to co-ordinate with a lavish decorative scheme. The carved decoration includes a band of leaves round the base, a guilloche band filled with rosettes and flutings filled with cabling of reeds and flowers. The post is surmounted by an acorn-shaped finial.

Physical description

Newel, oak, originally painted light green and gold. The decoration includes a band of leaves round the base, a guilloche band filled with rosettes and flutings filled with cabling of reeds and flowers, and an acorn-shaped finial.

Place of Origin

Brussels (city) (made)

Date

ca. 1770-1800 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Oak, originally painted light green and gold

Dimensions

Height: 53 in, Width: 6.5 in

Object history note

Museum nos. 859-1898 to 908-1898 (along with 909-910 for MET) "the whole of above more or less damaged" were purchased. A memo by Caspar Purdon Clarke, Assistant Director, dated 24/10/1898 on the RF records "When in Brussels recently I visited the Communale Museum and noted a collection of staircase newel posts which had been removed from old houses pulled down by the municipality. These interested me more than any other object in the museum: I therefore made inquiries as to the possibility of purchasing a few examples for our museum and suceeded in finding 3 very fair specimens at a dealers. These had been obtained during the removal of an entire block of houses on the side of the hill leading to St Gudule and the dealer informed me that in a few days he could collect more from other dealers who had purchased them, if commssioned to do so. As the price was exceedingly low I instructed him to obtain as many as possible, knowing that no great quatity could be found. In all he collected 11 separate newels at a cost of 480 francs (£19.4.0). I also selected in his shop 55 pieces of wood carving of various sizes - all very useful in making up small collections for Circulation, costing 150 francs; 2 Gothic panels; 30 frs each; 3 very rich Gothic panels, 225 frs.; an armchair, 60 frs.;and 7 iron wall anchors which form a peculiar feature in the architecture of the north of France ad in Flanders, 45 frs...."

Descriptive line

Newel post, of oak, carved with neo-classical motifs and originally painted light green and gold

Materials

Oak

Techniques

Hand carved

Subjects depicted

Fluting; Leaves; Flowers; Guilloche; Acorn; Cabling; Rosettes

Categories

Architectural fittings; Woodwork

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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