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image SM Adam volume 21/118

Reference number

SM Adam volume 21/118


[162] Preliminary design for watch boxes, 1774


Rough plan and four alternative elevations for watch boxes. The plan is elliptical, with a door at one end, and a window at the other. Each elevation shows a single-storey, single bay building, with a single door through which can be seen a bench or balustrade. The top left-hand watch box has a stepped dome, with a rectangular door flanked by fluted pilasters, and surmounted by a fluted frame with a central medallion. The top right-hand watch box has a pyramidal roof, with an arched door, flanked by a string course, and with a mask key stone flanked by enclosed rosettes. The bottom left-hand watch box has a stepped dome, a door formed by swags flanked by roundels, and connected to terms. The bottom right-hand watch box has a broken-based pediment, supported by mask-shaped consoles with aprons of festoons, and an arched door flanked by a string course, and with a medallion visible on the interior wall


to a rough scale


Watch Boxes

Signed and dated

  • December 1774
    Adelphi Decemr 1774.

Medium and dimensions

Pen and pencil on laid paper (209 x 288)


Robert Adam


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 33
Rowan, 2007, p. 51
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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