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Preliminary designs for the library, showing a starfish ceiling, 25 October 1802 (2)

Notes

Drawing 24 appears to be a copy of drawing 23, having the same dimensions. In plan, the library has a rectangular form with semicircular ends and a rectangular recess on one side. A chimney-piece is at one end and a chamfered door at the other. The recess overlooks the north front of the house. The ceilings, as revealed in the elevations, have shallow arcs separated by bold ornamented arches.

The external wall design is constant in all of the plans (drawing 23 to 39), suggesting that the walls of the new extension were already underway and that drawings 23 to 39 are designs for the room's finishings. A survey of this existing wall is shown in the SM archives (progress report 6/32/7).

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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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