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Finished drawing for a table frame for the great room, 1767, as executed (1)

Notes

These tables were executed by Sefferin Alken, in accordance with Adam's design, in 1768. They were designed to support scagliola slabs, and were sold with their slabs at Christies, London, in 1986 (now in a private collection). Harris has suggested that the tables originally stood to either side of the door from the great room into the ante room as they are too wide for the window piers.

Harris describes this design for a table frame as a 'transitional type', between Adam's heavier furniture legs, and his later, more slender designs of the 1770s. Harris also notes that this is the period in which Adam first started to use ornamental urns on the stretchers of his furniture.

Adam charged Lord Coventry £3.3s. for a table frame design made in February 1765, and £1.1s. for another in November 1768. Neither of these dates tallies with this drawing, although it is the executed version.

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

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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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