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  • image SM Adam volume 8/97

Reference number

SM Adam volume 8/97


[2] Preliminary design for a ceiling for the library, 1766, possibly executed


Plan of a rectangular ceiling with apsidal ends, and additional octagonal compartments at either end. The central flat is ornamented with a square compartment containing rosettes, arabesques, lunettes, and festoons, flanked on either side by circular bands of wreaths which overlap into the apses, and contain circular fans. The octagon to the left has octagonal coffering, and to the right a fan ornamented with anthemia, showing alternative designs in each octagon


to a scale


Cieling for Lord Despencers Library

Signed and dated

  • 1766
    datable to 1766

Medium and dimensions

Pencil on laid paper (519 x 257)


Robert Adam


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 39
King, 2001, Volume I, p. 297
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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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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