- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Drawing 81 shows a section of the exterior lantern cornice (probably full size). The section corresponds to the design in drawings 78 to 80 (and can also be seen in perspective on drawing 77). Drawing 81 itself seems too neat to be a working drawing but is probably a copy of one.
Drawings 78 and 79 have inscriptions that refer to the later south Transfer Office lantern: drawing 78 bears a feint pencil inscription labelling the 'Cornice of the Rotunda' above the section and the inscription on drawing 79 refers to the 'Height of the figur[e] Base'. Both inscriptions indicate that the drawings may be preliminary designs for the later south Transfer Office lantern - the Rotunda would be located as labelled on drawing 78, to the north of the office, and caryatid figures were used in place of columns. However, pre-demolition photographs and the early design-presentation drawing 112, show that the later south Transfer Office lantern was constructed of two tiers and paired figures, not one tier with sixteen single columns as these drawings show. It is more likely that the design for the later south Transfer Office lantern was reused and written over for the preliminary designs for the later south Transfer Office lantern (which was probably constructed later than the former).
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).