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image SM 8/5/1

Reference number

SM 8/5/1


Preliminary design for a throne in a Classical style


Elevation of throne and canopy with a seated figure

Medium and dimensions

Pencil on laid paper (325 x 199)


Soane Office


Curteis & Sons


This drawing was previously thought to be a design for a new throne for George IV made in June 1825 and relating to Soane's project for a new House of Lords (Sawyer, op. cit., p. 750 n. 2204). However, the drawing has now been identified as a design for a throne for an older House of Lords project, dating to 1794. The design closely matches that of the canopy shown in SM 71/1/5, a design for the interior of a new Lords' Chamber. The ensemble is classical in style with a crowned canopy with carved eagles and lions on a three-step dais. SM 71/1/5 shows the canopy and thrones gilded and hung with crimson and gold drapery.

A new throne and canopy were made for George IV soon after his accession to the throne in 1820. There are no drawings and no references in the Soane Office Day Books that relate to the throne. Soane was probably only involved in the design of the canopy, which can be seen in Sir George Hayter's painting of the Trial of Queen Caroline (National Portrait Gallery, London). The canopy was probably destroyed by the fire in 1834.

Tom Drysdale, November 2014


H. Roberts, "Royal thrones, 1760-1840", Furniture History, 25, 1989, pp. 61-85
S. Sawyer, Soane at Westminster, PhD thesis, Columbia University, 1999



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.

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).