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Designs for finishings to the breakfast room, 31 October 1789 (2)

Notes

As in the plan on drawing 17, the breakfast room has two windows facing north, with a chimney-piece centred on the east wall and beside a door to the round picture room (drawings 28 and 29). The breakfast room is surrounded by a base, surbase and cornice, and a flush bead moulding is in the panels beneath the windows. As in the library (drawings 22 and 23), the walls are coved above the cornice.

Aside from Soane's note to 'cut through' the blind doorway in drawing 24, the drawings show the same design with no variation.

A note by Soane on drawing 28 suggests that the blind door beside the chimney-piece is cut through; according to the drawings 16 to 19 for the present addition, this door would have led to the exterior so it is more likely that the inscription was added later and refers to the second addition, designed in November 1789 and according to drawing 61, when the great hall was built adjoining the breakfast room.

As in designs for the library, drawings 22 and 23, notes refer to reusing designs from other houses (drawing 29). The breakfast room chimney is to be like that designed by Soane for Lady Pembroke, presumably at her cottage in Richmond where Soane completed a new drawing room and ante-room in 1790 (q.v.). The cornice at the base of the coving has a Vitruvian scroll motif like that designed for Reverend John Gooch at Saxlingham Rectory, Norfolk, 1784-87 (q.v.).

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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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