- Robert and James Adam office drawings
Adam volume 20/67 and 20/66 show an unexecuted alternative for the pier glass frame for the eating room, but it is Adam volume 20/68 which shows the executed design. Adam billed Lord Coventry for both designs at a cost of £2.2s each.
According to Harris, here Adam made use of an 'ornamental hanging device', which was originally an invention of the Rococo style. Here Adam uses it 'as a means of transforming the mirror into a large wall decoration'.
As with much of the contents of Coventry House, it is not known when this pier glass was removed. It was recognised in 1989, despite various alterations, at Doyle's auction rooms, New York, by Alan Rubin of Pelham Galleries, London. Pelham Galleries restored the frame, and sold it to the V&A Museum in 1992.
Harris has noted that a similar mirror frame was designed by Adam for the overmantel in the hall at Kedleston Hall, and for the long gallery at Osterley.
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).
Contents of Alternative preliminary designs and finished drawing for a pier glass frame for the eating room, 1768 and 1770, drawing 50 as executed (3)
-  Alternative preliminary design for a pier glass frame for the eating room, 1768
-  Finished drawing for a pier glass frame for the eating room, 1768
-  Alternative preliminary design for a pier glass frame for the eating room, 1770, as executed