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Reference number

SM 13/1/8, 13/1/9, 13/1/10, 13/1/7

Purpose

Competition design No.7 with motto 'To your decree I bend' (4)

Aspect

4 Half-plan of (inscribed by Dance ?) Cellar Story 5 Ground Floor plan of a Design for a Lunatic Hospital 6 (inscribed by Dance ?) Plan of the One Pair of Stairs Story 7 Section on the Line A.B. and Elevation next Old Street

Scale

4-7 bar scale 1/14 in to 1 ft

Inscribed

4 as above, Old Street Road, Center Line, rooms labelled and dimensioned: Coals / 19 by 22 (twice), Wood &c: / 15 by 22, Open Court, Small beer Cellar / 23 by 13, Wet Larder / 14 by 13, Kitchen / 19.7½ Square, Pantry / 8 by 27.6, Boiling Room / 19.7½ Square, Apothecarys Kitchen / 19.7½ by 9.0, Apothecarys Still room, Cellar, Cutting room / 21 by 12, Privy, Arcade, Court, Laundry / 21.6 by 10, Washouse / 29.6 by 15 feet and Cellar 5 as above, This Plan contains 144 Cells for the Women & / 106 Cells for the Men Patients. / The parts tinted with light Indian Ink are proposed to be raised only One Story, Area for the Women 196 feet by 115 feet, Area for the Men 220 feet by 115 feet, (inscribed by Dance) Old Street. Rooms labelled: Straw Chimney (twice), Straw Barn (twice), Keepers room / 11.6 by 10.6, Warming room / 17.6 by 12.6 (twice), Warming Room / 28 by 18 (twice), Warmg room / 17 1½ by 10.6, Gallery (twice), Physician / 20 feet Square, Master's Parlor / 20 by 16, Masters / Kitchen / 9 by 15, Apothecary's Parlor / 20 by 15, Apothecary's Shop / 15 by 12, Waiting room / 13 by 12, Wardrobe / 8:6 by 12, Court, the Ground / raised, Covered way, Court, Matron / 21.7 by 10.6, Bedroom / 8 by 15, Hot Bath / Skylight / 12.6 by 15, Cold Bath / skylight / 17 by 15, Court, Covered way, Surgery / 17 by 10: 6, Hot bath / 17 by 10.6, Privy, Sink, Passage, Mens Infirmary for 14 Patients, Keeper / 11.6 by 10.6, Cold Bath / 17 by 15, Bone house, Womens Infirmary for 14 Patients, Privy 6 as above, rooms labelled: Warming room (six times, with varying dimensions), Gallery, Master's Bed- / chamber / 20 feet square, Committee room / 30 by 20, Waiting room / 15 by 14.6, Water / Closet, Mens / Wardrobe / 9 by 15, Surgery / 17 by 10.6 7 as above 4, 6 and 7: No7 (competition number added)

Signed and dated

To your decree I bend (competition motto, drawings 4-7 and datable to before 31 May 1777

Medium and dimensions

(4) Pen and washes within single ruled border on laid paper with one fold mark (456 x 682); (5) pen and washes within single or double ruled border on laid paper with one fold mark (659 x 980); (6) pen and wash within double ruled border on laid paper with one fold mark (618 x 970); (7) pen and warm sepia, cream, green and (section) pink washes

Hand

? Soane, ? Soane, ? Soane, Robert Baldwin (fl.1762-c.1804)/ and a few inscriptions possibly by George Dance (1741-1825), see Notes below

Watermark

J Whatman, fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche with GR below; J Whatman; J Whatman; J Whatman

Notes

Robert Baldwin's hand can be seen in the titles while the rendering of the elevation and section and the fine pen lines of, for example, the roof, railing and rustication reflect Baldwin's distinctive palette and drawing style. George Dance may have written a few of the labels, those with 'printed' lettering (plain, forward sloping and not joined up) are like those of some of his own drawings (cf. SM D2/9/9). On the other hand, Baldwin sometimes used the same sort of simple lettering (cf. SM volume 9/7). In fact, it is quite usual to have several people working on competition drawings and the plans may have been drawn by Soane, Baldwin or indeed, Dance.
The plan is a stretched ellipse. A plan form that later appears in the preliminary studies by George Dance for a British Senate House that was adopted by Soane for the final design exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1779. See (Soane's architectural education ...): Preliminary designs, some by George Dance, final design exhibited at the Royal Academy, reduced copies, and perspectives by J.M.Gandy and George Bailey, for a British Senate House 1778-9 and later (16)
The elevation is plainer than the earlier design and has the lunette windows within two-storey blind arches found in Dance's executed scheme. See J.Lever, Catalogue of the drawings of George Dance the Younger ..., 2003, catalogue [34]

Literature

P.du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982. Chapter 3 (Architecture for madness: the St Luke's competition)

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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