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Design for south-east part of the basement and part of the offices, by Thomas Ward, 11 October 1824 (1)

Notes

The part-plan of the basement shows the wine cellar, the secondary staircase and part of the domestic offices. Dimensions of the wine cellar and the doors in the offices are given.

The verso has a progress letter from Thomas Ward to Richard Hall (Soane's Clerk of Works at Chelsea Hospital) dated 11 October 1824 and mainly concerning the mahogany doors. In answer to his letter, received the previous evening, he appends a rough plan of part of the basement. He much regrets the the misunderstanding over the mahogany doors. When Richard Hall was there he thinks he told him that he [i.e. Thomas Ward] could not get the door out of the large drawing room into the hall wider than 3 ft. 4½ in., but can easily be reduced. He has that morning taken the exact dimensions of all the mahogany doors when finished [gives details]. He has not room, as he intended, to append a copy of the drawing for the drawing room shutters, but will send a copy at large in a few days. The width from the inside lining of the frame to the face of the plastering is 1 ft. 4¼ in. As regards the sketch of the beaded lining R.H. sent, with instructions that it be put up as a ground with the top of the window architrave as its top below the top of the architrave to the folding doors, is the beaded lining to continue round the rooms? Also, is the large drawing room to be papered? Does he know of any good method of hanging a jib door, as if the room is not papered it will, he thinks, be an awkward job? He wrote, as desired, to J.S. at Harrogate on Saturday. J.S. says he will be at Pell Wall on 27 October. He enquired at Tern Hill about Mr Bennin's coat, and Mr Swinchatt sent to Chester after it but has not yet got it [?is this Beynon, J.S.'s manservant]. He has spoken to Mr Sillitoe several times about getting the glass in, but he seems quite careless about it. The letter continues to the other side of the sheet and (as noted in Inscription) Ward states that he has got the groin up in the small drawing room, and the cove in the large drawing room which the plasterers have pricked up. He is that day putting up the door in the mezzanine passage, which makes him rather busy as he does those jobs by country hands.

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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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