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Preliminary design for a mirror frame for the drawing room, c1776-78 (1)

Notes

This is the only drawing for an interior feature of St John's Lodge, but it is not known if it was executed. In 1775 Adam had provided designs for the fabric of the villa (Adam volumes 21/85, 21/222, 45/17-45/21), though it was executed to a modified and enlarged version of these designs. This drawing must date to a little later as it is unlikely that Adam would provide Mrs St John with designs for decorative features prior to construction. Moreover, it is likely that Adam designed a larger selection of the interior decorative features than this single surviving drawing would suggest. Any executed work would have been lost in the fire of 1920. According to King Mrs St John had an unpaid account with the Adam office on the death of her husband in 1780, implying that the work had continued well after the designs for the villa were made in 1775.

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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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