- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
- (1) n.d. (2-3) 1792 (added later by George Bailey (1792-1860, pupil then assistant, 1806-37, curator 1837-60) (4-7) Copy Great Scotland Yard Decr 22d 1792
Of drawings 2 and 3, essentially, drawing 2 has the same plan as drawing 4 and drawing 3 has the same plan as drawing 6. It is assumed that 2 and 3 were made first, discussed with the client (hence Soane's pencil amendments and calculations) and (4-7) re-drawn as variant presentation plans with accompanying elevations and sent to Frederick Eden on 22 December (noted in office Day Book). The drawings (4-7) catalogued here are evidently copies.
All four plans show the same accommodation: drawing room, dressing room, library, eating room, stairs and a portico with two pairs of coupled columns. Drawings 2 and 4 have a stair to the garden at the back. Drawings 3 and 6 have alternative wall plans that offer a larger window with chamfered reveals to either side of the front door and do away with the portico. The 'No.1' design (drawings 2 and 4) has windowless flank walls so that it might be supposed that this is a (large) terrace house. But design 'No.2' (drawings 3 and 6) has windows to the drawing room on a flank wall and both plans have a side entrance. The dimensions vary so that design 'No.1' (2 and 4) is 56 feet wide and 51 feet 9 inches deep while design 'No.2' (3 and 6) is 50 feet 4½ inches wide and 52 feet and 52 feet 3 inches respectively.
The elevations show a two-storey with basement front of five bays in drawing 5 and three bays in drawing 7. Design 'No.2' (drawing 7) is the boldest design with large round-arched windows flanking the door, Doric pilasters and no portico.
Frederick Morton Eden (1766-1809) became the 2nd Baronet in 1784, married Ann Smith and set up home at 11 Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1792; they had nine children, two of whom died in infancy. Eden, a 'barrister at law' is best known as the author of The State of the Poor; or an History of the Labouring Classes in England from the Conquest to the present period ...3 volumes, 1797. He was also one of the founders of the Globe Insurance Company. Lady Eden died in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1808, she and her husband (who died the following year) are buried in Ealing parish church.
Eden was Soane's next door neighbour in Lincoln's Inn Fields, Soane having bought 12 Lincoln's Inn Fields in June 1792. Soane's office sent a bill for £10.10 for two plans and two elevations of designs for a villa on 22 December 1792. This was sent again on 26 November 1798 (sic) and the money received on 17 July 1799. All of which suggests an unexecuted design.
JIll Lever, September 2012
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).