There seems to have been some connection between Mills and Lord Mansfield – Adam’s patron at Kenwood – although the nature of this connection is unclear. It is likely, however, that it was through Mansfield that Adam came to be introduced to Sir Thomas Mills, and his wife Elizabeth Moffat (b1756). Evidence from three extant drawings shows that Adam was commissioned by Mills to make designs for a girandole in 1775, and for a fire pole and screen in 1778. The intended location and executed status of these designs is not known, but considering their date, it is likely that had they been executed, the girandole of 1775 would have been taken to Quebec on Mills’ return there in 1777, and that the fire pole and screen of 1778 were commissioned from afar and sent across the Atlantic to furnish the Mills’ Canadian residence.
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 56, 81; E. Harris, The furniture of Robert Adam, 1963, Index p. 59; ‘Mills, Sir Thomas’, Dictionary of Canadian 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 Sir Thomas and Lady Mills: designs for furniture, 1775-78 (3)
- Preliminary design for a girandole for the drawing room, 1775, executed status unknown (1)
- Design for a fire screen for Lady Mills, 1778, executed status unknown (1)
- Alternative preliminary design and unfinished working drawing for a tripod fire screen pole, c1778, executed status unknown (1)