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image SM, volume 110/20

Reference number

SM, volume 110/20


[2] Revised design for a bridge link to connect Queen Mary's Closet with the Privy Garden and Water Gallery


Elevation and plan


4 feet to 1 inch


In ink by Dance at top left, Gd, and to right in C19 hand, (20); and in graphite by C20 hand (probably Bolton's) with three descriptive titles

Signed and dated

  • Undated, but datable September 1694

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink with grey and pink washes over graphite under-drawing and some shading in graphite on the plan Laid paper, laid down; severe staining and erosion of paper in right 120 mm of sheet, with brown and pink coloured stains and blotches merging with pink from the wash. Small tears and cracks in paper in the area of the balcony of the closet. 330 x 452




Strasbourg Lily / 4WR


This drawing is a colour-washed and more carefully finished version of 1, above (110/19), with a revision to the plan of the staircase on the Privy Garden side. Instead of descending in two parallel flights adjoining the balcony platform, the upper flight is now dog-leg in plan and is attached to the wall. The balcony is now deeper on plan, projecting further from the wall on the park side. This revision demonstrates the impracticality of the plan drawn in graphite on 110/19, for this only appears to allow a narrow passage about 1 foot wide between the window balcony and the start of the 4-feet-wide bridge over the wall. On this drawing the passage is 3 feet 3 inches wide. It is also wider above the wall itself (5 feet) and extends to 6 feet above the main portal to the Privy garden. The area shaded in mid-pink and marked by a vertical pen line seven steps inwards from the end of the upper flight is the plan area of the upper embankment wall. The revised arrangement is shown in the rear elevation design, 3, below (110/21).


Thurley 2003, p. 183 Wren Society, IV, pl. 21, bottom; Thurley 2003, fig. 169



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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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