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Alternative designs for a stair balustrade and working drawing for door beside the stair, 1788 and 1790 (2)


Soane made drawings for the staircase in early 1788, visiting the client in March with fair drawings of his designs. The three elevations in drawing 1 show alternative designs for the stair balustrade. The lozenge design was preferred. Soane used a similar design at his own house, 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields. The reference to 'Mr Fellowes' must be to Robert Fellowes for whom Soane designed Shotesham Park in Norfolk, 1785-90 (q.v.). Soane, like other architects, sometimes re-used existing details from one job for another.

The economical design show in drawing 2 has a drawing room door with eight panels and the door next to the staircase with six panels. Soane may have made the drawing on site but the relevant pocket note book has no entries for 17 September 1788. Soane made 17 visits to Lees Court in 1788 and 89, making minor alterations to the house including the staircase.



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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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