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image SM drawer 69/1/10

Reference number

SM drawer 69/1/10

Purpose

Sketch design for a new Town Hall, or General Assembly Room and Market House

Aspect

Front elevation and plan

Scale

10 feet to ¾ inch

Inscribed

By Thornhill, in pen and brown ink, left of plan, Town Hall, or / Genll: Assembly, Market House. / & c; and within plan, 30 ft clear; 60 ft.; and to right of elevation, 17 ft high; 23; and to right of plan, Blandford / Forum.; and on verso, over small pencil-drawn rectangle of plan, 40 ground / 80

Signed and dated

1733

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink, with grey-brown wash

Hand

James Thornhill

Watermark

'VRYHEYT' in crowned wreath, with lion, spear and seven darts; see Churchill, 1935, no. 83

Notes

As Colvin has observed, Thornhill sat in Parliament from 1722 to 1734 as Member for Weymouth and Melcombe Regis, and in 1732 was one of the Commissioners for the rebuilding of Blandford after its destruction by fire on 4 June 1731. This explains how he came to make this unexecuted design, which 'shows a degreee of Palladian influence that is unexpected in one who as an artist was so consistently baroque in style'.The plan provides for a long table on a dais at the upper end of the ground-floor hall, which may be connected with the use of the space as a market hall. The spiral staircase on the left would have given access to an upper hall, presumably for use as a council chamber and assembly room.

Literature

Colvin, Biographical Dictionary, 2008, pp. 1039-40

Level

Drawing

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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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