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Working drawings for the drawing-room, May 1787 (3)


Drawing 31 is an interesting, well worn sheet of full size details rapidly drawn by Soane, mostly freehand and re-using or sharing details from other current jobs, that is, Taverham Hall, Norfolk for Mr Branthwayte, Tendring Hall, Suffolk for Admiral Sir Joshua Rowley (q.q.v). The 'Cornice for Principal Chambers' has an egg and dart moulding, the hall cornice has a dentil moulding, the entablature for the drawing room (on the verso) has a floreated Vitruvian scroll moulding. The scheme for the eating room, as shown in the thumbnail elevation (on recto), is for paired fluted pilasters with acanthus ornament and seems not to have been carried out. According to D. Stroud, Sir John Soane architect, 2nd ed., 1996, p.124, the drawing room chimney-piece survives 'as does the scroll-pattern plaster frieze' (32-33). Finished drawings made by a pupil, John McDonnell, who began his articles on 18 March 1786 and was evidently an accomplished draughtsman. Bound into an album of 'Miscellaneous / Drawings / of / Architectural / Designs'. Soane's office Day Book 2, confirms the attribution to McDonnell (who also experimented with 'Donnell' as a surname) with entries for drawing bookcase details made on 15 and 16 May 1787.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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 Working drawings for the drawing-room, May 1787 (3)