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image SM, volume 110/24

Reference number

SM, volume 110/24

Purpose

[1] Design for a chimney-piece with winged putti and a basket of flowers on the fire surround and a tall overmantel with a cresting of intertwined wreaths and a long drop of fruit and flowers

Aspect

Elevation, incomplete on right

Scale

Not indicated, but about 7/8 in to 1 foot

Inscribed

In pencil and ink by a C19 hand at top right, 24, 24

Signed and dated

Undated, but datable 1689-94

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink over graphite under-drawing, with yellow ochre and grey washes and ruled graphite shading over the yellow ochre on the wall panel; on laid paper, with 6-10 mm repair strip of coarse wove paper at bottom of sheet (probably 1850); 403 x 217

Hand

Gibbons

Watermark

Shield with diagonal band of four parallel lines, surmounted by a fleur-de-lys (Strasbourg bend), over AJ

Notes

While the putti would have been in full relief, probably in gilded wood, the vase of flowers would have been flattened in form and three-quarters round. The ruled graphite over-drawing on the yellow walling indicates either the surface sheen of a gilt damask or brocade, or a more solid surface of glazed appearance. This could be in mosaic, as noted by Gibbons on 10, below (110/47). On both drawings the cornice profile is tentatively drawn, first in graphite, then in pen. Gibbons is experimenting with the outlines of the cornice, which may suggest that both drawings are relatively early within this group of colour-washed designs.

Literature

Wren Society, IV, pl. 37, top

Level

Drawing

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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