Set of Nineteen (19) Georgian Hand Made Brass Stair Rods Circa 1820

Early 19th Century C. 1820
Brass over steel
Each rod: 40 inches x 1/2 inch diameter
Oversize/Overweight Parcel
Set of nineteen Georgian hand made brass stair rods from the early 19th century. These stair rods were made when brass was still expensive and are constructed like Georgian brass candlesticks with a layer of solid brass wrapped over a steel core. If you look closely you can see the seam that runs up the back of each rod. The rods were hand made and there is slight variation in the length and thickness of the rods as a result. (max difference in length is less than 0.5cm)
These stair rods were found in the garage of an 18th century William Playfair (1759 - 1823) house and for a long time they were thought to be just steel because they had been painted black. However, we have now cleaned the paint off to reveal their glorious old brass colour. The rods are in great condition apart from two that have small eruptions of rust through the brass layer (see photo for worst one). They are also very heavy.
In the late 18th century, stair rods emerged for practical purposes in the lower-middle to upper class Victorian homes which featured wooden stair cases covered by stair runner carpets. By the late 1700s stair rods were used as a means of installation to hold the carpet runner in place. They were a stylish invention for a practical purpose. Part of the function behind the rods was that they could be used so that, periodically, the runner could either be pulled up or down so that the nose of the stair wouldn’t rub or fade the runner in one place.
In the wealthier homes, stair rods featured much more innovative and decorative designs. This included styles like metal scrollwork on the bar and different shapes such as triangular shaped rods. Stair rods were crafted in different materials which ranged from brass to wood. Middle-class home owners who couldn’t afford to place decoratively styled stair rods on every step often used decorative rods up to the landing to impress guests while a plain rod was used to secure the runner on the steps farther up the staircase.
Condition Note: Two rods have very small eruptions through the brass (see photograph of worst example)