Today, I removed the north balustrade (left, and which had just tacked into position by me several years ago) and reset it properly both up/down and left/right. That took some figuring out. I mean, EXACTLY where had it been placed in 1894?
I also reinstalled the lower-most horizontal trim board (the lighter one). Then I pondered this NW corner. What was missing under the newel post? And I pondered some more. Then…oh!
I realized that I had an exact copy of what the NW corner originally looked like…over in the SW corner. So, what you see above…
…is exactly how this would have looked in 1894.
But…see how the SW newel post extends UNDER the stair. There is a…
These flourishes are all over the grand stair.
Even a baby flourish in the NE corner (currently disconnected from the newel above).
There was however no indication that a flourish was ever in the NW corner. But there had to have been one. It just made sense. Then I thought: is there a ghost imprint under the wallpaper? Oh! I got VERY excited!
Golly! There was! There was!
Breathless with excitement, I pulled the flourish off from the SW corner and stuck it in the NW corner! And you can see the baby flourish over to the right. Along with a full flourish on the far right. Flourishes everywhere!
Although it looks like a lot is missing between the flourish and the newel proper, what is mostly missing is this rounder corner, which I can replicate. Again, like…
The grand stair, 2014.
The grand stair, 2018. It is now very close to how it looked in 1894. Well, if you ignore the radioactive green. And the missing balustrade artfully cropped out to the left.
A week ago, reconstructing the staircase seemed overwhelming. This is why I ignored it for four years.
But, after playing with it for several days, its mysteries have been revealed and I understand how it was put together, and how much of X Y Z pieces I need to have made. The whole thing now makes sense.
I am just bursting with excitement.
And a new half-flourish can be created by making a mold of the extant one and casting a new one.
Had I invited a skilled craftsperson to just deal with the whole stair, I would have been billed, likely, $30,000 to reconstruct the stair. But I expect to spend maybe $2,000 in having components milled.