- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
George Dance (1741-1825)
In the executed building the piers had a full entablature with complete tri-fascia architrave and dentilled cornice.
The lion masks and acorn motifs conventionally connoted strength and stability. The lion masks were executed along the cornice and the acorn motif was realised in the oak leaf moulding of the trunk arches.
The incised capital with volutes, Greek key fret and anthemion was not executed, as indicated by the cancellation cross drawn over drawing 28, although the design does appear in the later presentation drawing 74. Instead a sunken panel with Greek key fret was realised on the capitals of the pilasters.
In the executed hall the soffit of the groin arches was decorated with panels incised with four lines intermittently broken by rosettes within sunken square panels.
These large-scale drawings of decorative details conveyed Soane's intentions to plasterers executing the designs. Soane would often sketch a design, as seen in the preliminary drawing 30, which a pupil would then re-draw as a finished design, as seen in drawings 31-32.
Drawing 34 appears to be in George Dance's hand, showing an elaboration of a design he had previously used at the library of Lansdowne House, London (c.1788-94). The names indicated are for craftsmen that both Dance and Soane employed: Mr Thomas was a plasterer who worked on two of Dance's jobs - Coleorton, April 1806 and at Stratton Park; Sir John Hippisley, Bt., (1747-1825); and Spiller may refer to Robert Spiller (fl. 1794-1827) mason and carver.
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).