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Designs for a chimneypiece for the great drawing room, 1763, 1765, Adam voluke 22/131 executed with alterations (2)

Notes

The great drawing room is located in the centre of the south front of the south range at Audley End, between the little drawing room and the vestibule. It was a space intended for use by gentlemen, while the ladies used the opulent little drawing room next door.

The ceiling of this room is comparable to that in the gallery at Syon, and, as at Syon, the ceiling was unfashionably low, and Adam was required to install a low dado and low furniture to try and improve the proportions of the room.

The chimneypiece design shown in Adam volume 22/131 was executed with alterations, most notably with an alternative frieze. This is the only Adam chimneypiece in the house which remains in its original position.

Adam designed the furniture for this room in 1771, and there is a drawing for the legs and frieze of the pier tables at the house.

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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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