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image SM Adam volume 23/151

Reference number

SM Adam volume 23/151


[8] Design of a chimneypiece and overmantel mirror frame for the drawing room, c1780


Elevation of a chimneypiece and overmantel. The chimneypiece has moulded stiles ornamented with a segmental vesica piscis-shaped fan, from which hangs a drop composed of a tubular flower, husks, enclosed rosettes, calyx, ribbon, a tablet containing a medallion and festoons, and an urn, with capitals containing figurative panels, and with a frieze containing a tripod flanked by winged sphinxes, and a figurative tablet, and with a dentilled cornice. The chimneypiece is surmounted by an overmantel mirror frame supported by paired attenuated shafts with lotus capitals, between which are drops composed of a mask and festoons, husks, enclosed rosette, tubular flowers, a palmette, calyx and husks. This is surmounted by an enclosed rosette encircled by a fan, supporting a tazza on a pedestal, and with a frieze of enclosed anthemia, and a tablet containing a wheatsheaf(?) framed by arabesques and rosettes, and surmounted by an elliptical figurative medallion with a palmette finial, and framed by reclining female figures and griffins with arabesque tails


to a scale


Design of a Chimney piece and Glass frame for the Drawing Room at Byram

Signed and dated

  • c1780
    datable to c1780

Medium and dimensions

Pen and coloured washes of cerulean blue, yellow, pink and black on laid paper (535 x 353)


Adam office hand, possibly Joseph Bonomi or Robert Morison


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 5
Harris, 1963, p. 48
Stillman, 1966, p. 78
Spiers, 1979, p. 42, Index, p. 5
King, 2001, Volume I, pp. 252, 263
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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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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