A French solid mahogany folding library stair with eight steps. The stairs fold together; when unfolded, hinged banisters appear. Brass wheels allow the step ladder to roll easily. The subtle design of the individual elements gives the library stair a sleek and elegant appearance.
The carefully detailed structure and height of this stair indicate that the library steps must have originally served in an extensive, and therefore significant, library.
During the 17th and 18th Centuries, large book collections arose in Europe. Usually owned by the nobility, clergy or scholars, a library was only for a small elite group and a very exclusive possession. The collections were kept in so-called book rooms, and were part of a castle, monastery or university. After the French Revolution, knowledge was shared increasingly and the first public libraries were erected.
A similar librairy stairs is known and was auctioned at Étude Couturier-Nicolay in Paris on 17 June 1986, lot 211.
The highest step is at 177 cm.