- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
The verso of drawingb 5, and drawings 6 to 8, show developing designs for a monument in the form of a sarcophagus.
In a letter dated 14 May 1815, Lady Bridport thanked Soane for his recent letter enclosing a proposed design, 'which as a drawing I greatly admire, but I am not certain that when executed for the church, it would quite suit my ideas; indeed in this undertaking I wish to be entirely satisfied' (Priv. Corr. XIII.H.28). Drawings 6 to 8, and the verso of drawing 5 show the design to which she refers. The sarcophagus is surmounted by a feature composed of two S-shaped scrolls, incorporating paterae and foliage and capped by a shell. Drawing 6 has an escallop between the scrolls and an imaginative arrangement of naval trophies, including flags, cannons and clouds of gun smoke behind the stern of a battleship. Drawings 7 and 8 show the acroterion as capped with a palm leaf-ornament, which is included as a rough design in the margins of drawing 6.
Drawing 6 shows an apron below the sarcphagus; in drawings 7 and 8 brackets have been added to either side of the apron.
As in drawing 4, the date inscribed by George Bailey on drawings 5 and 6 was added after the drawings were completed, probably when Bailey served as Soane Museum curator from 1837 to 1860, and in these cases Bailey's dates are inaccurate.
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).