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Alternative designs for a stove in the entrance hall in the form of the upper part of a suit of armour, one dated 31 August 1799 (2)

Notes

The entrance hall was heated by a stove in the form of the upper part of a suit of armour complete with helmet. A hinged breast plate could open to reveal the fire and a flue was concealed at the back to carry off smoke. The stove was at the base of the steps that led into the inner hall, at the south end of the room and under a coffered segmental arch.

On 16 August 1799 Soane sent two drawings showing three designs for stoves with 'trophies of Eng: Armour' (Journal No 4). Drawings 173 to 174 show two alternative designs for the stoves. One has the top portion of a suit of armour with grille behind a large shield. Behind the armour is a collection of arms, including a poleaxe, spear, and flail. Drawing 174 shows the upper part of a suit of armour with grille between two shields with a collection of arms behind. The built design consisted of the suit of armour between two shileds, as in drawing 174, and raised on a strigilated pedestal. See lecture drawing SM 14/1/7 for a view of the stove within the hall.

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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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