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London: Old Cavendish Street: shop front for Edward Foxhall, 1799 (2)

Signed and dated

  • Main Year: 0


Old Cavendish Street is now a short nondescript street running from Oxford Street to Cavendish Square via Henrietta Place with the John Lewis department store on the eastern side and the House of Fraser department store to the west.

Soane and Edward Foxhall (1756-1815) were both students at the Royal Academy schools and were life-long friends and colleagues. Foxhall worked on many of Soane's jobs including Fonthill Splendens, Letton Hall, Malvern Hall, Wimpole Hall and Simonds Brewery, Reading. His role as carver, decorator, upholsterer and purveyor of fine furniture and fittings made him invaluable and he or his workshop made picture frames for Soane and also, a small table for Mrs Soane. Foxhall's son, also Edward, was a pupil of and then assistant to Soane from 1812 to 1821. Foxhall's father Martin (d.1797) was a carver, gilder and picture framemaker with a shop in Cavendish Street (later old Cavendish Street) from which he traded as Foxhall & Son from 1783. His death in 1797 probably explains the occasion of the new front designed by Soane.

Literature. D. Stroud, Sir John Soane, architect, 2nd ed., 1996, pp.50. 59, 143; National Portrait Gallery - British picture framemakers, 1630-1950 at www.npg.org.uk/research/conservation/directory-of-british.../j. php

Jill Lever, May 2012



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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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Contents of London: Old Cavendish Street: shop front for Edward Foxhall, 1799 (2)