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Record drawing of the mirror in the great drawing room, 1769, as executed with alterations (1)


The elevations in Adam volume 50/68 show alternative mirrors of oval and rectangular shapes, but only the oval design is drawn in detail, making this the only full drawing of the rectangular version. The choice cannot have been one of economy, since a large rectangular mirror would cost considerably more than an oval one. The design was executed as in the drawing, except the mermaids are replaced by nude female figures, and Neptune is replaced by a shell. The nautical elements relate to Saltram's proximity to the sea, but, as Harris speculates, they probably 'did not suit Parker'.



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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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