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Record copies of design and working drawings for a new eating room, c. early 1785 (8)


The design for the eating room is conventional, a room 22' 10½" by 30-0' with an oval ceiling, a chimney-piece on one long side opposite three tall windows, tall round-headed alcoves in the centre of each of the shorter walls with, on one short wall, a flanking door and (for symmetry) a matching blind door. The room is panelled and there is a double festoon over each alcove.

The iconography of Bacchus with vine leaves, thyrsus (an attribute of Bacchus), poppyheads (attribute of Morpheus, the god of dreams, Hypnos the god of sleep and of Night) and pitcher (can signify temperance) no doubt appealed to the Branthwayts. However, the more subtle linear detailing is interesting, for example, the fluting of the chimney-piece frieze with reeding for the pilasters of the jambs and horizontal banding for the junction of the two. Again (see drawings 6 and 9), the correspondence between the entablature of the door and that for the chimney-piece is not exact - different function and material - but is evident.



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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 Record copies of design and working drawings for a new eating room, c. early 1785 (8)