About 7/8 in. to 1 foot
In ink by George Dance, bottom right, Gd, and to right in a C19 hand, 47.
Signed and dated
Undated, but probably dating 1689-94
Medium and dimensions
Pen and brown ink over graphite under-drawing, with green-brown wash and sketched additions in graphite; on laid paper, laid down, with small brown stain at top right-hand edge; 384 x 237
This drawing is the least complete of these five sketch designs but shares their vocabulary and drawing techniques. Gibbons's sketch technique is exemplified here in the loose handling of the foliage in the two console-like reliefs left and right of the mid-height panel.Gibbons adopts the formula used in 2 and 3 (110/51 and 33): a mid-height panel above the fire surround in two loosely drawn but clearly expressed alternatives, and above this a taller overmantel with a sculptural display. However he also sketched a higher mantel shelf cornice, suggesting the alternative formula found in 4 and 5 (110/42 and 46): a high mid-height panel and high mantel shelf cornice, with a relatively low overmantel area for an upper sculptural display. The mantel shelf cornice itself is identical to those on the other five drawings and is a version of the coved cornice used as a crowning feature on many of Gibbons's chimney-piece designs.The loosely drawn overmantel composition has a knotted drapery panel like that in 110/52 (6/5, no. 13), and within this the outlines of an armorial display, comprising a cartouche motif in a radiating group of arms with a helmet. at the top and a concave-sided base below. The arrangement is especially close to the overmantel trophy in 110/38 (6/1, no. 5), and the sketch could either be derived from this proposal or (conceivably) be preparatory for it. If so, then this entire group of sketch designs are amongst the earliest of Gibbons's chimney-piece designs in the Hampton Court Album.
Wren Society, IV, pl. 39, bottom
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