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Variant designs for finishings to the library, 31 October 1789 (2)

Notes

As in the ground floor plan on drawing 16, the library has three south-facing windows and a chimney-piece on the east wall. Bookcases line the other three walls, with the west bookcase containing several deep shelves for storing folios.

Pencil inscriptions on drawing 22 specify the colour of the east wall: white over the chimney-piece, a band of green above, and a white cornice. A note on drawing 23 specifies a frieze like that made for Mr Windham, most likely referring to the music room Soane designed for William Windham at Earsham, Norfolk, 1784-85 (q.v.). Another moulding in the library (the sheet is trimmed) is to be a replica of a design for Robert Fellowes at Shotesham Park, Norfolk, 1785-90 (q.v.). Soane often reused his designs, especially for joinery and plasterwork.

Drawings 22 and 23 vary slightly in their bookcase designs.

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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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