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  • image SM volume 42/151

Reference number

SM volume 42/151


Tracing of design


Part plan of ceiling with motifs including peltoid shield and scrolling foliage with a drop with bow, cameo, heart-shape and bell-flowers


bar scale of 1 in to 1½ feet (approximately)


purple (three times), deep bistre and Bistre Light (twice)

Signed and dated

  • datable to 1773

Medium and dimensions

Pen, hatching on tracing paper (135 x 162)


traced by Soane, Robert Adam (1728-92) or his office


Two drawings in SM Adam volume 12 are plans for the ceiling of 'the Anti room at Ashburnham House'. Drawing 125 is dated 10 April 1773 and is further inscribed 'not a correct Copy' meaning that it is a preliminary design without the colour washes and elaboration of drawing 126. This last is closer to the tracing catalogued here but with variations in, for example, the bow motif and while purple and bistre are noted on the tracing, in the finished drawing (126) the main colours are olive green and a light pink with some bright and light blues. Drawings and tracing are to the same scale. See also 42/56 for a tracing of a drawing for the ceiling of the library at Ashburnham House dated 25 July 1773Ashburnham House, 19 (later 30) Dover Street, London was altered for the 2nd Earl of Ashburnham, 1773-6 by Robert Adam and since demolished (Colvin, 1995).



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

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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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