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Peter Drinkwater: design for a chimneypiece and overmantel mirror frame, 1779 (1)


Peter Drinkwater is unknown. Bolton has suggested that he may have been a member of the Drinkwater family of Kirby Park on the Isle of Man, but there was no child named Peter born to that family during the eighteenth century. Alternatively, this may have been Peter Drinkwater (1750-1801), a successful manufacturer of fustian and cotton, and a merchant based in Bolton, Manchester and Cheshire.

In 1779 Drinkwater commissioned the Adam office to make this design for a chimneypiece and overmantel mirror frame, but the intended location and executed status of the design are not known.

A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 53, 69; E. Harris, The furniture of Robert Adam, 1963, p. 59; ‘Drinkwater, Peter (1750-1801)’, Oxford dictionary of national biography online

Frances Sands, 2015



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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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