- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Soane's office 'Journal No1' has an entry for the 26 May 1789: 'sent Mr Fellowes a plan for alterations'. Between 1785 and 1790 Soane built Shotesham Hall in Norfolk (q.v.) for Robert Fellowes, a magistrate and local politician. See introduction to this catalogue for a note of Soane's drawings for Norwich Castle Gaol in Norwich Castle Museum, 1789-91, two of them inscribed 'Robert Fellowes'.
The office 'Journal' also records that Soane's drawings were 'approved & ordered into execution on 17 June 1789'.
Not all of of Soane's presentation drawings have survived; the office Journal No 1 has an entry for 6 June 1789 'Took with me / No 5 fair Drawings of a Design / for the improvements / Three Plans / One elevation of front / one doof flank / One Section on 5 Sheets of double Eleph[ant]'. Double elephant size paper is generally understood as 40½ inches x 26 and 7/8 inches (1003 x 685 mm) which does not correspond with the dimensions given above.
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).