- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
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The Breakfast Room in its current position was initially designed as the Library (now directly opposite the Breakfast Room on the western side of the house). Thus the initial designs (particularly drawings 190 and 194) include tall bookcases set within niches lining the walls, three on each side. The room’s purpose soon transferred to that of a Breakfast Room and was designed with a variety of niches, mantels and eventually columbaria (sets of niches designed for holding cinerary urns in Roman catacombs), all designed for the display of Soane’s collection. Many familiar motifs are repeated in the Breakfast Room, including the acroterion enclosing a wreathed eagle (in the segments under the canopy dome).This form can also be seen in the cinerary urns represented in some of the designs for the Library, for example in drawing 211 (which also emphasises the funereal character of the room).
The Breakfast Room was restored to its present condition in 1986 based on research by Ian Bristow. However, most of the collection originally displayed within the room is now at the Soane Museum.
Virginia Brilliant's TS Pitzhanger catalogue has been instrumental to the creation of this catalogue.
Matilda Burn 2010
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 Breakfast Room, February 1801 - August 1802 (15)
- Preliminary designs and working drawings for the Breakfast Room, 14 February - 18 October 1801 (5)
- Preliminary designs, December 1801 and May 1802 (2)
- Working drawings and designs for niches, 2 June 1802 (2)
- Working drawings for the chimney piece, 25 June - 4 August 1802 (2)
- Designs and working drawings for decorative features, c. 2 to 4 August 1802 (4)
- Presentation drawing (1)