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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  [1] Design for the internal doorcase of the King's Bedchamber, with a open scrolled pediment and vase finials, a foliated frieze with consoles, and an eared architrave frame
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image SM, volume 110/57

Reference number

SM, volume 110/57

Purpose

[1] Design for the internal doorcase of the King's Bedchamber, with a open scrolled pediment and vase finials, a foliated frieze with consoles, and an eared architrave frame

Aspect

Elevation, part-finished (with alternative) on left, and with plan of door architrave on right

Scale

Not indicated, but from annotations, 1 foot to just under 1 inch, or 24.5mm (4 feet to 3 15/16 inch; same as 110/55)

Inscribed

In graphite by Hawksmoor, below baseline of elevation at bottom left, Inside of ye Kings Bedchamber, and with dimensions within and to right of design

Signed and dated

Undated, but datable c.1693-94, with pencilled amendments by Hawksmoor datable c.1699

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink over graphite under-drawing with grey wash and additions in graphite; on laid paper, laid down; 418 x 219

Hand

Gibbons, with inscriptions and probably one amendment by Hawksmoor (see Notes)

Watermark

Small fleur-de-lys over AJ

Notes

Save for the scrolls, foliage swags and vase on the pediment, and the carved decoration in the frieze, this design corresponds closely with the two executed doorcases on the east and west internal elevations of the King's Bedchamber at Hampton Court. The door opening (4 feet wide) and the door architrave (11 inches wide) are the same dimensions as in the fabric, and the architrave as executed has a similar profile to that shown in the pencil plan on the drawing, the main difference being that its bolection moulding projects less deeply. The dimensions of the door opening are exactly those of the doorcase with a curved pediment which, on this account, is likely to be for the same room (110/55). Another link between the two doorcase is in the height of the cornice above floor level. Inscribed 10 feet 9 inches on this design, it measures only 1½ inches less on the other doorcase. The dado rails are at identical heights, so the door cases may well have been intended to be seen together in the same room.Hawksmoor's inscriptions on the drawing and the similarities between the pen-and-wash style and examples from his hand in the 1690s have given rise to the suggestion that the entire drawing is his hand (Thurley2003, p. 178). However, the pen and wash style, the preparatory technique and the method of presentation on the sheet are all consistent with Gibbons's hand (compare the freehand pen drawing here with the Hawksmoor's much looser technique in decorative details for the choir stalls at St Paul's Cathedral, c.1694, Downes, 1988, cat. nos. 171, 174).Hawksmoor's inscriptions are in a thicker, heavier graphite than the under-drawing of the design. They appear to have been added to an already complete design, prior to its execution in modified form. The only part of the design that appears to be in the same graphite as the inscriptions is the moulding that has been added to the top of the cornice. With this moulding the distance from the top of the cornice to the bottom of the 'ear' of the architrave is the 2 feet 2 inches dimension that Hawksmoor has inscribed immediately to the right. Distinct from this addition are the finer graphite lines of the plan of the architrave and the alternative scheme for a higher ear to the left-hand architrave. Both appear to belong to Gibbons's original design.Above the cornice, but overlapping the scroll, is a loosely sketched outline for an overdoor panel, slightly wider than it is high. It may be an addition to the design at a point when the decision was made to omit the ornaments above the cornice and embellish the wall over the door with a framed panel, as in the executed interiors of the King's Bedchamber and Little Bedchamber (see Thurley, 2003, fig. 193).In all probability, Gibbons's drawing dates c.1693-94, near the end of the first phase of design and construction, but was not put in hand at that time; instead, it provided the basis for a simplified version of the door surround when work on the interiors resumed in 1699. By this time, Hawksmoor had assumed a greater degree of control over the works at Hampton Court. His sweeping style of pencilled inscription on this drawing is similar to that on a study for Bushy Park avenue of c.1699 at All Souls (Geraghty 2007, no. 224; AS IV.1).

Literature

Thurley, 2003, p. 178, fig. 162; Wren Society, IV, pl. 41, bottom right

Level

Drawing

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