- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
The earlier plan, drawing 1, shows the house as 71 feet 3 inches by 52 feet 1 and a half inches; drawing 2 has a plan 70 feet by 52 feet 1 and a half inches. Drawing 1 is wider in its central bay, resulting in a wider drawing room and enlarged corridors around the stairwell. The design of the entrance hall also varies, with the earlier drawing showing narrow windows flanking the entrance. Drawing 1 has erasures on the main stair, probably for correcting the number of risers. A rough preliminary design for the domestic offices has been added in pencil to both drawings 1 and 2, showing stairs surrounding an 'office court'.
Room labels in drawing 2 have been included by Soane in pencil and by another office hand in pen. Soane's inscriptions amend some room labels so that the library and eating rooms exchange places. The room on the bottom left hand side of the drawing has been labelled 'Mr Sillitoe's Room'; in later drawings this room would become the breakfast room (see drawings 32-34). The upper left and right-hand corners of the sheet have landscapes in pen and wash.
The Soane Office Day Books record that George Ives (an assistant) worked on plans for a house on 4 March and that Soane's pupils, Papendiek and Mee, worked on the plans for the rest of the week. It is therefore suggested that drawings 1 and 2 were laid out by Ives and finished in pen and wash (including landscape) by the pupils.
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).