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Design for a drawing room, 1778, possibly executed (1)


It is not known if the designs for Mistley Hall interiors were executed. King, however, suggests it is quite likely, noting the extensive designs produced for the Mistley estate which were carried out. He also points to the designs of the drawing room carpet (SM Adam volume 5/43 and 17/198) as an indicator of their execution, as these drawings date six months after those for the ceiling which they complement (SM Adam volume 14/27-28). A contemporary account also records alterations made to the house under Rigby, and although no date or architect is given, it is significant that the additions referenced include a new eating room and drawing room.

Interestingly the inscriptions for this drawing record a proposed arrangement for paintings we can assume formed part of Rigby’s collection.

Horace Walpole’s letter to Horace Mann, dated 2nd August 1750 records an earlier scheme for Rigby’s drawing room at Mistley, with ‘very fine Indian landscapes, with a black fret round them… and all the ground or hangings is of pink paper’.



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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 Design for a drawing room, 1778, possibly executed (1)