- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
- (79) 15th Septr 1818 (office) 16 Sept: 1818 (Soane)
Drawing 79 is a design for a 'finial' with small brown pen and pencil additions by Soane. Another appears on the roof of the Debt Redemption Office (drawing 71) though the proportions are different. Both have a pineapple or pine cone cupped by leaves on a striated pedestal supported by an eight-sided domed antefix on a base. It is difficult to know what, if anything, these finials symbolize. Soane had a penchant for funeral ornament, his own tomb illustrates that rather well and he designed a number of monuments and memorials. Some of his drawings for the Pitt Cenotaph have lamp standards of an elongated vase form on a pedestal (drawings 74,76,77). Different again are the seven models (some full size) that were made for Soane and that are termed 'pedestals' by J. Wilton-Ely ('The architectural models of Sir John Soane: a catalogue', pp.28-29, fig.18c, Architectural History: Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, XII, 1969). Some of these models resemble tombs, for example that of Samuel Bosanquet (SM MP 33, 217, 222). The drawings (99 and 100) by Wightwick made in 1827 during his brief stay in Soane's office show a different type of 'finial' that was described as a 'tripod with an arched opening and fluted Doric pilasters' by P. du Prey in Sir John Soane, 1985, cat.298, p.87 in the series: Catalogues of architectural drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
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).