Staircase from Cassiobury Park, Herfordshire

Maker: Attributed to Edward Pearce (ca. 1630–1695)

Date: ca. 1677–80

Culture: British

Medium: Risers and treads: oak; balustrade friezes and finials: elm; newel posts, stringers, skirting, baluster bases, balusters and handrails: pine

Dimensions: Height: 186 in. (472.4 cm)

Classification: Woodwork

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1932

Accession Number: 32.152


The exuberant carving of this magnificent staircase is attributed to the English master Edward Pearce, but it is similar to the work of Grinling Gibbons, who, like many other influential artists in seventeenth-century England, was Dutch. In keeping with Baroque ideals, the design consists of natural vegetal elements restrained and ordered by art. A dramatically undercut acanthus scroll with seed pods carries the balustrade between square newels; neatly arranged oak leaves compose the molding below, and pine cone finials crown the corner posts.