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Design for a ceiling for the vestibule (now part of the billiard room), 1783, unexecuted (1)

Notes

In 1776, Adam made designs for the addition of four new wings on the corners of the central block at Nostell. To create a vestibule between the two wings on the northern end of the house, Adam demolished the 5th Baronet’s green dressing room, and extended the room outwards. Only Adam’s family wing on the northeast corner was built, and the newly extended vestibule space was left redundant. In the 1806 and 1818 inventories of the house, the room was listed as a picture gallery. In c1819, Charles Winn added a billiard table, and it has been known as the billiard room since that time. Although the billiard room never functioned as a vestibule between two wings, considerable work was carried out on its interior decoration, explaining the survival of multiple working drawings for the scheme.

There is a duplicate of this drawing in an Adam office hand and datable to c1783 within the National Trust drawings collection at Nostell Priory. There is also an executed working drawing and an unexecuted working drawing for this ceiling, also in an Adam office hand, and dated 1783, within the National Trust drawings collection.

There are two working drawings showing walls for the room, both in Adam office hands and dated 1783 within the National Trust collection, and another five for the columns, cornice, soffit and entablature in the room, one of which is in the private drawings collection of Lord St Oswald.

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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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