In 1779 Keppel was honourably acquitted at a court martial following an argument with his second-in-command, Sir Hugh Palliser, at the Battle of Ushant (1778). The case stirred widespread public interest, and Keppel was hailed a national hero. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London and a freedom box – traditionally used to contain a freedom scroll or certificate. As evidenced by this drawing, Adam made a design for Keppel’s freedom box, but it was not realised as the executed freedom box – now at the Museum of London – was designed by William Charron and John Bacon. It was made by a London-based Swedish silversmith, Andrew Fogelberg, in oak with gold trellis and enamel medallions, and was paid for by a goldsmith, John Newman.
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 55, 77; ‘Keppel, Hon. Augustus (1725-86), of Elveden Hall, Suff.’ History of Parliament online; ‘Keppel, Augustus, Viscount Keppel (1725-1786)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography online’ ‘Freedom box’, Museum of London collections online
Frances Sands, 2015
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).