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Working drawings for finishings to the entrance hall, September and October 1796 (2)

Notes

In his letter dated 27 September (drawing 106), William Richards reports that the building's carpentry is finished and the masonry work is also almost complete. The drawing on the verso is for the entrance hall ceiling, which is being floated by the plasterers. Richards has included a drawing of the ceiling in both its 'present' and 'original designe', asking Soane about the part marked 'C' on the plan, behind the soffits on the sides of the room. Soane has drawn on the sheet to show his preferred design. Drawing 107 shows this altered design, with the soffits having a squared-off Greek fret motif rather than the scrolled version of drawing 106.

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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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