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image SM volume 109/30

Reference number

SM volume 109/30

Purpose

[10/3] Preparatory design for finishing the stone stairs of the river wharf landing stage, the stone parapet and the central iron railings of the river wall, c.1712

Aspect

Elevation

Scale

Just over 20 feet to 1 inch

Inscribed

In graphite, by Hawksmoor, with numbers of scale bar; and in ink, at bottom right, in C19 hand, 30.

Signed and dated

Undated, but datable c.1712

Medium and dimensions

pen and brown ink over graphite under-drawing, with grey wash, on two roughly equal sheets of laid paper, pasted at centre; laid down; 381 x 865.

Hand

Hawksmoor

Watermark

Small fleur-de-lis and CDG (countermark) on each sheet

Notes

On 7 February 1712 Hawksmoor was ordered by the Fabric Committee to 'make an Estimate of the Charge of finishing the Stone Stairs of the Wharfe, and of a Parapet-Wall of Stone and Iron Palissades, the whole breadth of the great Court' (Wren Society, VI, p. 65). The design shows the steps in the form shown on the Worcester College site plan of 30 May 1712 (ibid., pl. 14) and on the model at Greenwich of 1699 (Bold 2000, fig. 142). A wall of this design appears in Griffier's design of c.1712 (ibid., fig. 151).

The tall pedestals in the design were not executed. This was probably the result of an instruction Hawksmoor received from the Committee on 6 August 1713 'to make an Estimate of finishing the Stone Stairs at the Terras next the Thames, in the plainest manner, without any ornaments at present' (Wren Society, VI, p. 68). The fine pen and brown ink and light grey wash technique, combined with loose pen shading, is characteristic of Hawksmoor's hand in the c.1711-15 period (see [10/4]).

Literature

Not in Wren Society

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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