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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Scotland: Edinburgh, Edinburgh Assembly Rooms and Musical Society (designs for concert hall). Unfinished design showing a section through a dome with small cupola and decorated coffering of a diminishing type. Below is a detail of a square panel enclosing an unfinished architectural capriccio.
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image Adam vol.7/225

Reference number

Adam vol.7/225

Purpose

Scotland: Edinburgh, Edinburgh Assembly Rooms and Musical Society (designs for concert hall). Unfinished design showing a section through a dome with small cupola and decorated coffering of a diminishing type. Below is a detail of a square panel enclosing an unfinished architectural capriccio.

Aspect

Section, detail

Inscribed

Inscribed in ink in a contemporary hand above 2 ft in an inch and Sketch of the Dome and below 3 Caissons in each pane & five in hightt. A ft. to an inch

Signed and dated

Undated, possibly c.1755

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil 318 x 200, horizontal central foldline

Hand

James Adam

Watermark

Crown above circle

Notes

This drawing by James Adam is probably related to the panel drawings in Adam vol.7/194 and is probably for the proposed concert hall of the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms and Musical Society, which occupied the Adam brothers around 1754/5 (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, pp.126 and 346). There are other references to the Edinburgh Assembly Rooms in Adam vol.1/1, 3 and 4, of which 1/3 is inscribed Sketches of a Project for Edin'r (see the domed section in Adam vol.1/4). The scheme involved all the Adam brothers: Robert was involved in it with John before his departure for Italy, when James replaced him. Robert wrote from Italy in 1755 asking John to be told that 'I have been much on the observe with respect to concert rooms etc. But never have seen anything extraordinary in any shape as they perform mostly on the stages in play-houses . . . the few concert halls are quite plain without any coveing at all' (National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, Clerk of Penicuik Collection, GD18/4761). This interest may explain Adam's acquisition of a volume of theatre designs by Carlo Fontana (see A. Bolton, The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 2 vols., London, 1922, II, p.330).
Alternatively this drawing may be related to the casino designed for Robert Adam's house at 46 Lower Grosvenor Street, London (see A. A. Tait, Robert Adam: drawings and imagination, Cambridge, 1993, p.83-85).

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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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