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Alternative preliminary design and design for the first drawing room chimneypiece, 1773-74, Adam volume 23/47 as executed (2)

Notes

The first drawing room chimneypiece is included in the second volume of The works on architecture of Robert and James Adam (part 1, plate 3), and is illustrated in accordance with Adam volume 23/47. Adam's preface to this plate reads:

Two Chimney-pieces in the Front and Second Withdrawing-rooms, with Glass-Frames over them. These chimney-pieces are of staturary marble, and the frames for the glasses are carved in wood and gilt. The figure in the oval at top of the first frame is painted; and the whole is beautifully executed, and has been allowed to have an elegant effect.

Here is it suggested that the chimneypiece - in both Adam volume 23/47 and the Works - is shown as executed. However, it is not known to have survived when the house was demolished in 1862.

There is no extant drawing showing the published design for the first drawing room overmantel mirror frame, but according to Harris, this is a 'refined version' of that designed for Luton Park in 1772.

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

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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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