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image SM, volume 110/34

Reference number

SM, volume 110/34

Purpose

[3] Design for chimney-piece with a tall obelisk draped with wreaths at the side of the overmantel and a putto leaning against a vase on a pedestal in the centre of the mantel shelf

Aspect

Elevation, incomplete on right

Scale

About 7/8 inch to 1 foot

Inscribed

In ink by Dance at bottom right, Gd, and in a C19 hand to right, (34)

Signed and dated

Undated, but datable 1689-94

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink with pink, light green, yellow, green-grey, blue and grey washes over graphite under drawing, with ruled graphite shading on the pink wall covering and freehand graphite shading on the obelisk on laid paper, with slight staining in top 15 mm 410 x 237

Hand

Gibbons

Watermark

Shield with a 4-line diagonal band above 'AJ' (Abraham Jansen), and above the shield a large fleur-de-lys (Strabourg bend: ask Peter Bower)

Notes

The porcelain vase stands on a gadrooned convex podium that rests on a convex-sided plinth with fishscale decoration on its central relief panel. The vase would probably have been in porcelain rather than trompe l'oeil carving. The ruled graphite lines on the pink of the wall covering around the picture frame may indicate the sheen of damask, or mosaic (see 1, above; 110/24). Limewood carving would probably have been restricted to the draped ribbons and wreaths of flowers and laurel leaves around the obelisk, and to the draped curtains over the top of the picture frame. It is possible that the draped obelisk is intended as a symbol of mourning and that the design could, therefore, post-date the death of Queen Mary in December 1694. Gibbons has sketched and partly inked the outlines of a three-part entablature at the top of the design. This would indicate a principal state room.

Literature

Wren Society, IV, pl. 30, bottom

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.

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).