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Working drawings, c. March 1788 (2)

Notes

Folded and stained, drawing 16 seems to have been taken on site. It is very close to the design published as plate 1 in Soane's Plans, elevations and sections of buildings erected in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, 1788 (1789). The information file for Shotesham (SM library) has a reference to a Christie's sale (30 November 1983, lot 73) and a photocopy of a photograph (Conway Library neg. L12/19 (26) of a 'Plan of the Principal Floor' dated March 25 1788 that is either the original or a copy of drawing 14. This allows for a circa March 1788 date for the SM drawing. The Christie's drawing is inscribed: 'for Capitals complete £3.3 each / without the Neck', a reference to the Coade stone capitals for the pilasters.

Drawing 17 for the attic floor seems to tally with the ground floor plan (drawing 16). Interestingly, it shows eight dormer windows which were not carried out. The instruction that the ashlaring is 'not to be closed but left for Closets to be made hereafter wherever necessary' refers to the short vertical timbers that cut off the angle formed between a sloping wood roof and the floor. These support lath and plaster and before this is applied useful storage can be built-in where needed.

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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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