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Rough preliminary drawing made for publication for a title plate, 1773, unused (1)


The first volume of The works in architecture of Robert and James Adam was published in five parts in 1773-78. The complete volume was not available until each part had first been published individually. This design provides evidence for Adam's intention to provide each part of volume 1 with its own title pate. Eight engravings showing Kenwood composed the second part of The works, but this design for a title plate was not used.

That this drawing includes a pencil-drawn section for the frame suggests that Robert Adam was not only designing a title plate for The Works, but also considering how he might use this design for a physical frame.

Julius Bryant has suggested that it is possible that the feint design for a pedestal shown in this drawing might possibly have been for the pedestal to the bust of Homer seen in Mansfield's 1775 portrait by David Martin, now at Scone Palace. A smaller replica of this painting, by the same artist, hangs at Kenwood.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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 Rough preliminary drawing made for publication for a title plate, 1773, unused (1)