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  • image SM volume 42/51

Reference number

SM volume 42/51


Tracing of preliminary design


Quarter-plan showing a central patera with acanthus ornament encircled by overlapping paterae each containing a portrait medallion and wreath, and details of ornament including: palmette in scrolled heart band, arcaded band, paterae and calyx band labelled 'A',cyma reversa with acanthus labelled 'B', ovolo with egg and dart and bead labelled 'D'


to various scales


Library Cielg / Claremont and A (twice), B (twice), C and D

Signed and dated

  • datable to c. 1771-4

Medium and dimensions

Pen on tracing paper (161 x 187)


traced by Soane, Henry Holland office


The Soane Museum's Adam Collection includes a volume (V) of ceiling designs of which No. 53 is Henry Holland's complete plan for a 'Ceiling to Library Claremont' with a note 'the Medallions to be the English Poets'. The tracing catalogued here and the drawing V/53 show the same design though the tracing is to a slightly larger scale and includes details of mouldings. Stroud, Holland, 1966, fig. 87 shows a photograph of the library and its rectangular ceiling which employs employs a great number of portrait medallions. The tracing catalogued here is evidently a related preliminary design.Several other non-Adam drawings in Volume V suggest that they were probably added by Soane.


C.Rowell, '"That delightful and magnificent Villa", Clive of India's Claremont and its collections', Apollo,CLIII, April 2001, fig.2 and see below



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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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