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Finished drawing for a chimneypiece for the drawing room, 1769 (1)


Further to the use of festoons and enclosed rosettes - two very common motifs within Adam's work - there is no clear connection between Adam's designs for the drawing room ceiling (Adam volume 12/25) and this chimneypiece design. Although some of Adam's interior decorative designs were realised at Blunham, it is not known if this chimneypiece design was executed as nothing of Adam's works survived the nineteenth-century alterations.

The pencil inscription on this drawing, River front / Front Parlor / 5t House, suggests that Adam had intended to reuse the design at the Adelphi, as was the case with various other chimneypiece designs of the 1760s. In this case it was clearly intended for the front parlour at 5 Royal Terrace. Indeed, there is a duplicate of this design in the front parlour of 5 Royal Terrace (Adam volume 24/35), corresponding with the pencil inscription.



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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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Contents of Finished drawing for a chimneypiece for the drawing room, 1769 (1)