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Preliminary design with turrets: C, 21-23 August 1800 (2)


Drawing 77's draughtsmanship suggests it is by Gandy and as Virginia Brilliant's TS catalogue indicates, may spring (at least in part) from the artist's imagination. There is no other design for a villa that incorporates turrets, which are very atypical of Soane's oeuvre. The Dance wing is again clearly visible, with the new two-storey villa attached.

Drawing 78 certainly corresponds to this scheme, as a circular turret is evident at the corner to the side of the same shaped entrance porch as in drawing 77. This drawing has been cropped and subsequently reused for another design on the recto, however, and the full plan for a turreted villa is not visible. It is possible, given the similarity of drawing 78 and 77, that Soane did in fact briefly entertain an idea for a villa with turrets, so unlike his usual style.



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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 Preliminary design with turrets: C, 21-23 August 1800 (2)