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Record drawings for friezes for the great dining room, as executed, and for a drawing room, unexecuted, N.D (1)

Notes

The great dining room was located on the parlour (ground) floor, on the south front of the house, and was created in 1781. There is photographic evidence that Adam's ceiling (Adam volume 14/79) was executed, and it is therefore presumed that the walls, along with the frieze, were also executed. This drawing for the frieze matches the frieze shown in Adam's wall elevations for the room (Adam volumes 14/138-14/140), and his working drawing for the frieze (Adam volume 49/17), and is therefore, most likely, the executed design.

Adam designed three adjacent drawing rooms for the principal (first) floor of Cumberland House. The first drawing room was to be in the north-east corner of the house, the second in the south-east corner, and the third was in the centre of the south front. Although Adam produced various drawings for these drawing rooms (Adam volumes 27/86-27/90, 27/92, 49/19, 49/21-49/24), none of them were executed, and moreover, the friezes shown in these drawings do not match this design.

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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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