All of the doorcases and chimneypieces in Buckingham House were replaced in the early 1760s, and Adam was responsible for the chimneypiece in the saloon, the ceiling in the Japanned room (later the crimson drawing room), and the doorcase between the staircase and the saloon. The chimneypiece in the saloon was removed to the Queen's Presence Chamber at Windsor Castle by King William IV, but the rest of Adam's work was lost during the remodelling of the 1820s by John Nash (1752-1835). A plan of the house in the 1760s can be seen in the History of the King's Works, Volume V, p. 135. The exterior was altered for King George III by Chambers though Adam had made alternative designs, and as well as the preliminary designs for this in the Soane Museum there are finished drawings at Hovingham Hall.
Adam also made designs for Queen Charlotte, for a pianoforte in 1780, and for an illumination in 1763, designed for the garden at Buckingham House as a 25th birthday surprise for the King. There is one drawing for the illumination in the Soane Museum, and this is for the original, unexecuted, scheme: the executed structure being much smaller in scale. There are presentation drawings for Adam's original and executed schemes held at Windsor Castle, and publication drawings by Clérisseau for the original and executed schemes were sold at Sotheby's in 1988. There are also various designs made by Adam for King George III and Queen Charlotte included in the first volume of the Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam (1773), including the unexecuted original scheme for the illumination - engraved from Clérisseau's drawing sold at Sotheby's - various chimneypieces, a sedan chair, and the ceiling for the Japanned room. Moreover, there are two Adam drawings for Buckingham House held in the RIBA drawings collection: a design for a doorway and wall, and a doorcase for the dressing room.
See also: Richmond Park observatory
Gentleman's Magazine, June 1763, p. 300; Gentleman's Magazine, March 1792, pp. 282-83; A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume I, pp. 48-49, Volume II, p. 292, Index p. 35; E. Harris, The furniture of Robert Adam, 1963, p. 54; Catalogue of the drawings collection at the RIBA, 1968, p. 16; H.M. Colvin (ed.)., The history of the King's works: 1660-1782, Volume V, 1976, pp. 133-37; A. Rowan, Catalogue of the architectural drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum: Robert Adam, 1988, p. 46; Sotheby’s, Early English drawings and Victorian watercolours: architectural drawings and watercolours, Thursday 28 April 1988; A.A. Tait, Robert Adam: drawings & imagination, 1993; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume I, pp. 307, 375, Volume II, pp. 129, 221, 269-70, 275; S. Bradley, and N. Pevsner, The buildings of England: London 6: Westminster, 2003, pp. 644-45
Frances Sands, 2011
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 Buckingham House (later Buckingham Palace), The Mall, London: designs for the interior, an illumination, rebuilding the palace, and a pianoforte, for King George III and Queen Charlotte, 1761-1763, and 1780 (25)
- Alternate designs and record drawings for a chimneypiece for the saloon, 1761 (5)
- Full size working drawings for a clock bracket, c1761-63; there is no evidence that this was executed (2)
- Designs for door frames, for the staircase, the dressing room, and the japanned room, c1762-63, possibly executed (4)
- Preliminary designs for a bedstead, c1761-63, there is no evidence that these designs were executed (3)
- Preliminary designs for remodelling Buckingham House and its entrance gate, c1761-63, unexecuted (6)
- Design for an illumination for the garden at Buckingham House, commissioned by Queen Charlotte, 1763, unexecuted (1)
- Full size working drawings for the ornamental panels of a pianoforte case for Queen Charlotte, 1780, probably unexecuted (4)