Tag Archives: Nathaniel-Russell House Museum

Nathaniel Russell House Staircase, First Floor

For such an amazing architectural beauty, this staircase is in a very small space, making it is difficult to photograph it all. Standing underneath and looking up provides an interesting view.

Up Through the Staircase
Up Through the Staircase

This view shows a small door to the outdoors, which seems out of place. The light shining out of the underside of the staircase allows a view of the construction.

Cantilevered Staircase, First Floor
Cantilevered Staircase, First Floor, Trap Door to Root Cellar in Floor

And it sticks out on the other side of the staircase, just like the window in my post about the second floor view.

Looking Across a Tread of the Staircase
Looking Across a Tread of the Staircase

This is that little door from the outside. One of the museum volunteers told me this was used to access the root cellar, again a bit of practical over maintaining full symmetry.

I’m 5′ 8″ (1.7 M) and when I stood on the step of this door my hair would have grazed the header if I could have stepped in.

Door Under Staircase From Outside
Door Under Staircase From Outside

Nathaniel Russell House Museum, Charleston, SC
January 27, 2023

This home has been restored to its 1808 appearance and is part of the Historic Charleston Foundation collection.

Additional posts of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum

Nathaniel Russell House Staircase, Second Floor

Built in 1808, the design of a Charleston merchant’s home was all about symmetry. And impressing your neighbors, like this three-story, cantilevered, flying staircase was intended to do.

Window Behind the Cantilevered Staircase
Window Behind the Cantilevered Staircase, Second Floor

Sometimes, reality didn’t match the rules, and this window is not evenly placed behind the staircase. But it does illustrate that the staircase doesn’t touch the wall for support.

Window Behind the Cantilevered Staircase
Window Behind the Cantilevered Staircase

This window seen from the outside, taken from what is now the narrow driveway to the back of the property. My back was at the wall of the First (Scots) Presbyterian Church next door and the trees reflected in the glass are in the graveyard.

Window From Outside
Window From Outside

Nathaniel Russell House Museum, Charleston, SC
January 27, 2023

This home has been restored to its 1808 appearance and is part of the Historic Charleston Foundation collection.

Additional posts of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum

Oval Drawing Room, Revisited 2023

The symmetry and bling of the historic Nathaniel Russell House is on full display in the oval drawing room.

Oval Drawing Room Ceiling and Chandelier
Oval Drawing Room Ceiling and Chandelier

I am fascinated by these tri-column mirror panels. Rather like a fun-house mirror, just shifting your position an inch or two changes the scene. Here, triplicates of a music stand with varying amounts of a standing harp next to it.

Oval Drawing Room Rounded Mirrors
Oval Drawing Room Rounded Mirrors

Despite the wealth and import business that would have allowed the Russells to have mahogany doors, the hallway doors are faux. The skill and expense of applying the design to a pine door was valued over real mahogany.

Oval Drawing Room Rounded Mirrors
Oval Drawing Room Rounded Mirrors, Open door that leads to hallway

Nathaniel Russell House Museum, Charleston, SC
January 27, 2023

This home has been restored to its 1808 appearance and is part of the Historic Charleston Foundation collection.

Additional posts of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum

Tea Set Bling

Another room of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum that is a show off, including this gold decorated tea set.

White - Gold Tea Set
White – Gold Tea Set

The Nathaniel Russell House Museum embodies the flaunt-it lifestyle of the mercantile elite of late 1700s – early 1800s Charleston, SC. The house has been restored to its 1808 appearance and is part of the Historic Charleston Foundation collection.

Photos taken October 13, 2021

Oval Drawing Room, 3 Details

Showing some more detail of the sensory overload in the Oval Drawing Room, this is a close up of the Georgian Gothic crown molding. The museum tour indicates this is made of plaster with 22 Carat gold leaf.

Oval Drawing Room Cornice Detail
Oval Drawing Room Cornice Detail

A wider view shows the rounding of the corner and the top corner framing of the panel mirrors.

Oval Drawing Room Cornice Detail
Oval Drawing Room Cornice Detail

From the hallway the Oval Drawing Room glows with natural light when the sun is shining, as it was this day.  The room to the left is the Withdrawing Room, which runs across the entire front of the house.

Oval Drawing Room From Hallway
Oval Drawing Room From Hallway

This home has been restored to its 1808 appearance and is part of the Historic Charleston Foundation collection.

Photos taken October 13, 2021

Additional posts of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum

Oval Drawing Room, 2

The Oval Drawing Room on the second floor of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum is something of a sensory overload.

Panel Mirrors in Oval Drawing Room
Panel Mirrors in Oval Drawing Room

Every type of architectural detail is decorated–the gilded cornice, the door frames, the frames around the window.

Panel Mirrors in Oval Drawing Room
Panel Mirrors in Oval Drawing Room

In addition to helping reflect the candlelight of the era, the panel mirrors were another statement of wealth.

View to the Staircase From Oval Drawing Room
View to the Staircase From Oval Drawing Room, Door Flanked By Paneled Mirrors

I suspect they were also disorienting to late night party attendees.

Oval Drawing Room
Oval Drawing Room

This home has been restored to its 1808 appearance and is part of the Historic Charleston Foundation collection.

Photos taken October 13, 2021

Additional posts of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum

Oval Drawing Room

The Oval Drawing Room on the second floor of the Nathaniel Russell House Museum embodies the flaunt-it lifestyle of the mercantile elite of the late 1700s – early 1800s Charleston.

Set for Tea in the Oval Drawing Room
Set for Tea in the Oval Drawing Room

The tea set has plenty of its own bling, with opulent decoration.

Tea Table
Tea Table

Panel mirrors and cornice gilding helped brighten the room for after dinner parties, reflecting candle light.

Tea Table Reflected in Mirror Wall
Tea Table Reflected in Mirror Wall

This home has been restored to its 1808 appearance and is part of the Historic Charleston Foundation collection.

Photos taken October 13, 2021