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image SM volume 42/27

Reference number

SM volume 42/27


Variant design


Elevation of a tablet to be executed in white and yellow/brown marble. At the top, two recumbent consoles with a veined leaf between, the sides taper to a similar but smaller double scroll motif at the bottom and the cornice has a bold convex moulding


to a scale


(pencil) W. Phillips (not traced)

Signed and dated

  • datable to c. 1771

Medium and dimensions

Brown pen with raw sienna and sepia washes on laid paper (125 x 87)




This preliminary design is by the same hand that made a fully worked out drawing to a larger scale (SM volume 57/88) in which the wall tablet is of white and green marble. Anthemion motifs replace leaves, the cornice moulding has leaf and dart enrichment and, at the bottom, a fluted band with a roundel bearing a blank shield is more clearly shown.There is a similar wall tablet to the memory of Sir John Kemp Bart (1754-71) in the Cloister of Westminster Abbey (east walk, second bay from north). An Old Boy of Westminster School he died young and the tablet was erected by two his school friends (neither of them a 'W.Phillips') with a permission from the Abbey dated 14 May 1771. The Kemp tablet is of white and green marble and varies by having a fret moulding below the cornice, and the roundel with a shield (carved with wheat sheaves) is larger. The designs at the Soane Museum seem to be related to the Kemp monument though it might be a case of the carver re-using the same basic design. See also 42/6, 42/118 for designs for chimney-pieces in the same hand as SM volume 57/88.<>Information from Miss C.Reynolds, Assistant Keeper of Muniments, Westminster Abbey Library & Muniment Room, 17 July 2007.



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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.

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