A segment of the Eiffel Tower's original staircase up for grabs

·1-min read
Gustave Eiffel and his collaborator M. Salles, on his tower's staircase, in 1889.

Have you ever dreamed of possessing part of the ultra-famous monument that symbolizes Paris throughout the world? A segment of an original staircase from the Eiffel Tower will be auctioned by Artcurial on December 1, as part of its Parisian Art Deco and Design Sale.

This 2.6-meter segment comes from the historic spiral staircase built by Gustave Eiffel and his collaborators for the Universal Exhibition of 1889. A few years later, an elevator replaced the original staircase between the second and third floor of the iconic monument, which is why the staircase was dismantled. It was separated into 24 segments, two of which measure nine meters.

One of these long segments remains on the Tower's first floor, while three others were redistributed to Paris's Musée d'Orsay and Cité des sciences de la Villette and the Musée de l'Histoire du fer (Iron history museum) in Nancy (in the east of France). The 20 elements left were auctioned off in December 1983, scattering this heritage between cultural institutions and private collections worldwide. Every now and then some resurface on the auction market.

The segment of the staircase being auctioned off in December by Artcurial comes from a private Canadian collection. It is estimated to fetch between 30,000 and 40,000 euros. A rather modest sum compared to segments previously auctioned off. In 2016, a piece of the same staircase sold for 523,800 euros, far above its original estimate. In 2013, another 3.5-meter high segment went for 220,000 euros during a previous Artcurial sale.