An Attractive Early 20thC Painted Oak Step Ladder


Origin: British
Period Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: N/A
Date: c.1900-20
When Open:
Height: 39 inches
Width: 15.25 inches
Depth: 30 inches

The grey oak frame with iron hinges having four rungs and top step within vertical stiles and rope stays, the whole with the original elephant grey paint, survives from the early twentieth century.

The condition of the ladder is totally original so remains un cleaned and un restored so decoratively it is delightful with other splattered colours of paint visible. There is a repair to the top step which has a running crack through it so is weaker though the other steps are all sturdy. The ladder can still be used, though caution would be advised.

The word “ladder” can be traced back to the Old English word “hlæder” which roughly translated means “something that slopes”. It is estimated that ladders as we know them have been in use for over 10,000 years. Cave paintings from the Mesolithic era in the Spider Caves in Valencia, Spain were discovered picturing two people with a long, rickety ladder, thought to be made out of woven grass, heading towards a tree with a bees nest in it, in order to collect some honey. As time moved on and tools progressed, we begin to see examples of wooden ladders and in medieval times these were used to help storm a castle. John Basely from Ohio invented the step ladder in 1862; he put a hinge in between two ladder sides to enable it to be stored more easily. Now, step ladders have stays which assure that the two parts remain at a locked angle.

Position carefully and enjoy surprisingly decorative results.