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Finished drawing for the ceiling for Lady Coventry's bedroom, 1765, as executed (1)


Lady Coventry's bedroom was located behind the great room on first floor, and was accessed via a door from the lobby at the top of the main staircase. According to Harris, her apartment was merely for 'show', as a private suite of rooms was proposed in an extension to the rear of the house, albeit never executed.

Like the great room and ante room, Adam hung the bedroom with red damask, and it was the ceiling that provided the principal interior decorative impact. This was the first of Adam's newly decorated rooms to be finished in September 1766, most likely because he only modified the ceiling. Adam retained Brettingham's original plasterwork, and made new additions to it. As such it appears rather heavier than the majority of Adam's other ceilings of this date. The finished, composite result of Brettingham and Adam plasterwork can be seen in this drawing, and the ceiling survives in situ.

According to Adam's bill to Lord Coventry, Adam made his design for the ceiling of the bedroom, along with some working drawings in February 1765, at a cost of £7.7s. for the design, and £1.11s.6d for the working drawings. A further working drawing for the frieze was provided at the same date at a cost of £0.10s.6d.

Within the drawings collection at the V&A Museum there is a design by Adam for a bed recess for Coventry House. This was presumably intended for Lady Coventry's bedroom.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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Contents of Finished drawing for the ceiling for Lady Coventry's bedroom, 1765, as executed (1)