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  • image Image 1 for SM 40/3/23

Reference number

SM 40/3/23


[25] Design for the library


Plan and laid-out wall elevations


bar scale of 3/10 inch to 1 foot


Robert Knight Esqr, Library, To Correspond with Chimney / Breast, , Books (6 times). Post (3 times)

Signed and dated

  • 27/10/1802
    Lin Inn Fields Octr 27 1802

Medium and dimensions

Pen, sepia, pink and blue washes, shaded, pricked for transfer on thin laid paper (549 x 660)


The office Day Book for 27 October 1802 has an entry - 'Robert Knight Esqr / Drawing out Library - Charles St / Seward', that is, Henry Hake Seward (1778-1848), pupil and assistant May 1794 - September 1808


There are bookshelves on each of the four walls; the vertical divisions are marked at the top by a recessed semicircular or segmental niche housing a bust - thirteen in all. The large, round arched window on the south side is about eight feet wide and nine and half feet high and the eastern wall is now curved A comparison with the survey drawing ([1]) of the library made for Lady Pembroke in 1797 (q.v.) shows that Soane reflected the round-headed theme of the earlier (c.1770) library.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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).