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Survey and designs for the Marchioness's dressing room, August 1798 (2)

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The Marchioness's dressing room is rectangular in plan with a recess on one side. The main space is divided into three bays, the centre covered with a shallow dome and the ends covered with cross-vaulted ceilings. The drawings of the room show a ball moulding lining the dome and pilasters anchoring the springing-points for each vault. The room is 24 feet 9 inches by 12 feet, with a chimney-piece at one end. Three windows, each 3 feet 6 inches wide, are on one wall; the dimensions of these windows suggest that the dressing room is part of the old house, as the windows correspond to those measured in a survey (see drawings 2 and 3 for survey). Soane's additions include larger windows. A note in the Day Books records that Henry Hake Seward (c. 1798-1848, pupil 1794-1808) was making perspectives of the dressing room 'with the proposed ornaments' in August 1798. Soane made alterations to an existing dressing room, probably adding his signature ball mouldings, pilasters and decorative ceilings.

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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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