Tuesday, February 23, 2010

esprit d'escalier

A French phrase which literally means the wit of the staircase, and usually refers to the perfect witty response you think up after the conversation or argument is ended.

I love architectural accessories. Miniature staircases were produced by architects and furniture makers mainly in the 19th and 20th centuries. They were also made for staircase manufacturers as models and salesman’s samples.

The collecting of staircase models was popularized in the late 20th century by the publisher Carter Burden. Burden was a descendant of Commodore Vanderbilt, and an huge collector of books and decorative objects. He owned the Village Voice and New York Magazine. The late fashion designer Bill Blass was also a prolific collector.

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