- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
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24 The drawing shows the kitchen offices as three buildings, well spaced out, with twin enclosed, quadrant passage and storage ways that are 7 foot 6 inches wide. No link is shown with the house, and the elevation facing it shows twin, two-storey, three-bay buildings linked by three arches while the other (courtyard side) has twin three-bay offices linked by five narrow arches. Soane's rough design is not fully drawn out so that the curved walls that form the semicircular court are in pencil and a steeper arc is projected on one side. The side elevation shows a sloping site as pencilled-in on drawing 22 and on V&A S1447.1898 (P. du Prey, op.cit, catalogue 110, plate 22). The latter has two-bay end buildings with Diocletian windows that appear also on the drawing catalogued here which must have preceded it.
25 This is a re-drawing of Soane's 'Sketch' design (24) by an experienced hand; Soane has gone over it in a feint pencil roughing out some modifications. The inscription on the verso suggests that it was to be sent to William Lodder on site. The draughtsman has not been identified but the bar scale with three dots on the main verticals is unusual though, for example, George Dance used it in his early career. Soane's 'Accompt book / from 1781' has a note 'set out with Pepys & Sanders / to Survey ...' (13 February 1785) and entries of payment to 'Pepys' of two guineas on 21 February and 8 March 1785. George Pepys assisted George Dance in the City of London office from about 1774 (D. Stroud, George Dance architect, 1741-1825, 1971, p.106,149,155-6) and was perhaps helping Soane out at a busy time when his only employee were John Sanders, a newly acquired pupil (from 1 September 1784). There was also, Soane's ghost assistant, Robert Baldwin and further cataloguing will reveal when he ceased working for Soane.
26 The purpose of the drawing is not clear. It is drawn with a firm hand but not by an architect. The plan is close to that of the preceding drawing including, for example, the addition of a pencilled-in stair. The inscribed dimensions are the same as those of drawing 24 but the fractions of an inch are not given. The elevations are simpler than in drawing 24 and a lantern or ventilator is drawn in unorthodox 'filleted' way that suggests a builder (probably a carpenter) as draughtsman, possibly the William Lodder inscribed on the verso of drawing 25. Little is known about this builder except that two natural curiosities cut from an Ash tree displayed either side of the north window to Soane's Library-Dining room at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields were presented to Soane in 1820 by a William Lodder. For another drawing inscrbed 'Lodder' see drawing 33.
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).