Titanic’s opulent forward Grand Staircase descended through seven decks from Boat to F Decks with entrance halls on every level. Its elegant glass dome and 50-light chandelier illuminated the staircase ornamentation including the carved oak banister adorned with inlaid iron and gilded bronze scrollwork. The D Deck landing, with its large central candelabra, served as the first-class reception hall for passengers boarding the Ship and entering the Dining Saloon.
The originally-gilded bronze statue resembles a rosy-cheeked, plump child – or wingless cherub – which was a popular decorative element in Edwardian England. It held aloft an electrically illuminated torch (now absent), attached at the chest and stomach. This cherub is missing its left foot although molded drapery and ribbons are visible on the body. Substantially smaller than the larger cherubs of the main landings, it is thought to be a light standard fixture from a side post newel on the aft staircase on C Deck which was destroyed when the Ship broke apart.
Recovered during RMS Titanic, Inc.’s 1987 expedition, the cherub has been conserved and treated on several occasions, preserving it for future generations. Today, this beautiful cherub reminds us of both the beauty and tragedy of Titanic and its enduring legacy.
The rare cherub statue is on display now through Feb. 28 at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition inside Luxor Hotel and Casino. This is the Cherub’s first Las Vegas appearance and is available to view to those who purchase general admission tickets to the Exhibition. The limited-time display is the latest artifact to be installed at the Exhibition in almost two years.