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Purpose

The Tower of London, London, designs for chimneypieces and mirror frames for Mr Weaver, 1782-3, unexecuted (12)

Signed and dated

  • 1782-3

Notes

These designs for chimneypieces and mirror frames assigned to Mr Weaver’s house in the Tower are not known to have been executed. Very little is known of Mr Weaver. Bolton noted that his name appears in the Royal Kalendar of 1781, where he is recorded as one of the Clerks in Ordinary working under the Clerk of Deliveries at the Tower of London. Indeed we can trace Mr Weaver through the Royal Kalendar with his last appearance noted in 1804, listed as Chief Clerk W. Weaver, esq. Many such office holders held apartments in the Tower and the surrounding area, care of which fell under the remit of the Ordnance Office, and later the Office of Works. Through the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century the Office of Works recorded a number of repairs required at such residences, many of which seem to have fallen into disrepair.

Several of the inscriptions for the mirror frames are of interest as they provide a range of estimated expenses with price lists for glass, carving, joiner’s work and ornamental painting.

A number of the drawings for chimneypieces have pencil preliminary designs on the verso. They bear many similarities to the recto designs, but with alterations and varying combinations of design elements.

Literature:
The Royal Kalendar; or complete and correct Annual Register for England, Scotland, Ireland, and America, For the Year 1781, p. 164; The London Kalendar; or Court and City Register for England, Scotland, Ireland and America, For the Year 1804, p. 215; A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam , 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 51, 90; E. Harris, The Furniture of Robert Adam, 1963, p.58;The History of the King’s Works, Volume V, 1660-1782, 1976, pp. 380-384, H.M. Colvin (ed.); The History of the King’s Works, Volume VI, 1782-1851, 1973, pp. 485-491

Anna McAlaney, 2019

Level

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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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Contents of The Tower of London, London, designs for chimneypieces and mirror frames for Mr Weaver, 1782-3, unexecuted (12)