- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Drawing 2 shows the materials to be used in the construction of the chimney-piece - labelled as marble and Portland stone. The drawing must have been made for Mr Nelson (as inscribed) - presumably James Nelson, a mason employed by Soane on various projects. The inscription notes 'do not get out the Marble without / further orders', which was evidently an instruction from Soane to Nelson. The detail shows projecting parts of the frame marked by a dotted lines under-lined with brown wash, which cut across the elevations so that the jambs labelled A and B are shown to be flat and curved respectively. The stepped panel of the outer jamb is also marked in this way. 'Slip' (referred to in an inscription) is a method of creating the sloping chimney flue. The smaller elelvations show the basic structure, while the detail additionally shows the finishings.
Drawing 3 is probably a record copy of drawing 2, as it is particularly neat. Additionally, festoons are shown in the frieze section above the opening and adorning the outer jambs. This may have been a last minute addition to the final design.
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).