Model staircase, cedar (Toona australis), made by J L Gardiner, Sydney Technical College, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1891
Twin spiral staircase inside a tall, rectangular, glass sided cabinet with wooden frames. The staircase is mounted on a circular platform from which rises a fluted, wooden platform inlaid with wedges of contrasting wood, forming a rosette design. From the centre of this platform rises a fluted wooden column, topped with an acanthus and scroll capital. The column is painted grey with a gold trim. Rising from the platform are twin staircases which spiral up the outside of the central column. At the bottom of each staircase is a single newel post with an eight sided base and fluted body surmounted by a carved rosette planted in a small panel with a curved roof-like structure. The top of the staircases end in two large newel posts, which are also carved with rosettes and topped with a ball. Around the edge of the staircases are ballistas which support a handrail. The ballistas are square in section and range two to a step. The underside of one set of stairs features a series of planks forming a smooth undersurface. The other stair has panels on the underside. The top of the staircases end in two wedge shaped landings. The whole structure is made from several different types of timber jointed, screwed and glued in place. The wood is lacquered. An old MAAS label accompanies this object.
The old MAAS label reads 'TWIN SPIRAL STAIRCASE / Scale 3 inches to 1 foot. / This model shows method of constructing stairs on / the TWIN SPIRAL PRINCIPLE suitable for high towers or / monuments visited by the public. May be built of stone, / iron or wood, round a centre newel, or round the walls / with an open well. Landings can be turned off at any / required height. Steps will be steep or easy accord- / ing to the diameter of the plan. Stops should be / put on rail to prevent sliding, or strong brackets / fixed at side, which may be used for lights or / ornaments. / Made by J.L.Gardiner, / Teacher, Sydney Technical College.'.