- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
The inscription in drawing 21 refers to an engraving for a publication by Soane, presumably unrelated to the drawing shown. The inscription may be contemporary to the drawing (1797) or from a later date.
An inscription on the verso of drawing 24, in Soane's hand, refers to a meeting at Number 9 Beaumont Street, with a note 'Devonshire plan'. There is evidence that Soane was involved with managing the lease and rent payments for an unidentified house at Beaumont Street for the Duke of Abercorn (SM Archive L/C/450) but this documentation dates form 1800. 'Devonshire plan' probably refers to survey and repairs Soane conducted at Number 15 Devonshire Square, EC2, for Stephen Thornton, a director of the Bank of England and Soane's client for a number of properties (including Moggerhanger, Bedfordshire). In 1794, Soane surveyed the property and in 1797 he made minor repairs (SM Archives L/C/253 and 8/87).
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).