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
318 x 200, horizontal central foldline
Crown above circle
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).
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