- Robert and James Adam office drawings
The carving for the surviving pieces has been attributed to Sefferin Nelson. The designs for the suite upholstery match the surviving working drawings (Adam volume 17/88-90). The inscriptions for these drawings assign the same upholstery design to the seat furniture for the first, second and great drawing rooms.
Harris notes the design for SM Adam 17/86 presents an unusual chair back, supported by sphinxes. She highlights that the only other known comparable design is for a chair for Osterley, SM Adam volume 17/87. The Osterley chair, dated 24th April 1777, predates this design for Hume, and Adam’s later design is considered more elegant in comparison. Harris also notes similarities between Adam volumes 6/162 and 17/86. Indeed Adam volume 6/162 would appear to be a preliminary design for Adam volume 17/86.
Harris also points to the unique inclusion of a confident as part of the suite, (Adam volume 17/83). The confident was to become popular in use throughout the 1780s, however this design is comparatively early.
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).
Contents of Preliminary design for a chair and designs for a chair, sofas and a confident sofa, 1779-1780, as executed (5)
-  Preliminary design for a chair, c1779, as executed
-  Design for a chair, 1779, as executed
-  Design for a large sofa, 1779, as executed
-  Design for a small sofa, 1780, as executed
-  Design for a confidante sofa, 1780, as executed