Prior to his financial difficulties, Colebrooke's London townhouse was on Arlington Street, probably at number 23. Arlington Street had been built by Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington from 1682, on land which had previously been part of Green Park. The majority of the houses had been rebuilt in the 1730s. By 1771 Colebrooke clearly desired a new interior decorative scheme, and he hired Robert Adam to produce designs for at least seven rooms, and a selection of furniture. It is unlikely that any of Adam's designs for Colebrooke were completed owing to the start of his financial problems at around the same time. It is worthy of note, however, that Adam volume 12/86 - a ceiling design for the saloon - has an Italian pencil inscription which reads 1771 Commiciaro guesto Lavoro (work begun in 1771). This suggests that the work was begun, but it is not known to have been completed. Presumably Colebrooke gave up the house at sometime between commissioning Adam's designs in 1771, and his flight to Boulogne in 1777-78. 23 Arlington Street had been demolished by the time that Arthur Bolton wrote his two-volume work on Robert and James Adam in 1922. The site has since been re-used to erect a 1960s office block behind the Ritz Hotel.
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 34, 66; E. Harris, The furniture of Robert Adam, 1963, pp. 53, 74, 97, 94; B. Weinreb, and C. Hibbert, The London encyclopaedia, 1983, p. 26; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, p. 180; S. Bradley, and N. Pevsner, The buildings of England, London 6: Westminster, 2003, p. 602; 'Colebrooke, George (1729-1809), of Gatton, Surr.', History of Parliament online; 'Colebrooke, Sir George, second baronet (1729-1809)', Oxford dictionary of national biography online
Frances Sands, 2014
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).
Contents of Arlington Street, number 23, London: unexecuted designs for interior decoration for Sir George Colebrooke, 1771 (16)
- Record drawing for a ceiling for the front parlour, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Record drawing for a ceiling for the back parlour, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Design for a ceiling for the gallery or library, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Design for the gallery or library, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Record drawing for a ceiling for the book room, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Design and finished drawing for a book room, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Finished drawing for a pier bookcase, probably for the book room, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Alternative designs for a ceiling for the saloon, 1771 (2)
- Alternative preliminary design, design and finished drawing for the saloon and sofa, 1771, unexecuted (3)
- Finished drawing for a commode, possibly for the saloon, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Record drawing for a ceiling for the bed room, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Design for a ceiling for an unknown room, 1771, unexecuted (1)
- Record drawing for a toilet table for Lady Colebrooke, 1771, unexecuted (1)