- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
The two plans catalogued here are discussed by Ptolemy Dean in his Sir John Soane and London, 2006, p.153 where the client is said to be John Pearse and the drawings are described as designs. Dean includes information from the Soane office archive dated 1792 and 1793 that refers to two houses with a 31 feet frontage and 40 feet 9 inches tall. There is presently a house in Great Russell Street numbered 89 that stands with numbers 90 and 91 on the north west side of the street close to Bloomsbury Street with a frontage of 21 feet 6 inches and of three storeys with basement and attic. On the north-east side of Great Russell Street are houses numbered 77 to 74 so that numbers 88 to 78 were presumably demolished to make way for the forecourt to the British Museum.
*All of the 127 record drawings appear to be London houses though some remain unidentified or (possibly) mis-identified.
Jill Lever, December 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).