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  • image SM volume 42/40

Reference number

SM volume 42/40




Plan and cross section


The Principles 6 Inches Thick, (section, key) a Oak / B Firs 12In Wide / C Screw Bolts / D Iron plates 4 Wide / and 1 Inch Thick in the Middle, (plan, key) a Firs 9 Inches Thick / B Oak / C Screw Bolts / D an Iron Hoop 4 Inches wide and / 5/8 of an Inch Thick / Bolted together / at CC &c / FF &c Principal Rafters ; (verso, Soane) Bed, bolsters &c 2.10.0 / 2 Blankets 10-6 / A Counterpane 12 - / 1 Pair of Sheets 10 / [total] £4.2.6

Signed and dated

  • datable to 1772-7

Medium and dimensions

Brown pen on laid paper with three fold marks (243 x 126)


(recto) unidentified; (verso) Soane


Soane's shopping list, written in his youthful hand, on the verso of the drawing, suggests an approximate date of 1772 to 1777. It is presumed that Soane lived in Henry Holland's household (the addresses changing) during that period and was at 7 Hamilton Street, Piccadilly from 1777. The bed and linen may have been bought after he moved to Holland's office and home or when he moved out or in between. The design for a dome on an elliptical plan with an oculus by an unknown hand (not, for example, Henry Holland's hand cf 42/31 verso) may be a theoretical exercise. Though it offers greater space for less height and gives axes of different length, an elliptical dome is more complicated to construct than a spherical dome. The method shown here used timber with iron plates and iron hoop and though perhaps ingenious was not new.An early example of an oval dome is the Baroque church of S. Andrea del Vignola, Rome, completed in 1553, of which Soane made measured drawings in November 1779 (q.v.).



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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.

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).