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image SM 38/7/10

Reference number

SM 38/7/10


[20] Design for the front elevation


Elevation of entrance front


bar scale of 1/10 inch to 1 foot


(Soane's hand) Duke of Leeds St James Square / by Mr Brettingham

Medium and dimensions

Pen, warm sepia, sepia and blue washes, shaded with single ruled border, pricked for transfer on thin wove paper (549 x 330)


Office of Robert William Furze Brettingham (c.1750-1820) with inscription by Soane


The design for Brettingham's entrance front emphasises the ground, first and second floors with the attic floor set behind a balustraded parapet above an entablature with a densely carved anthemion and palmete frieze. A fluted bandcourse runs between the first and second storeys and a guilloche band under the first floor windows. The ground floor windows have rounded heads. This contrasts with Soane's austere design (drawing [12]) with its square-headed windows relieved only by a three-bay band with square metopes, each with a patera, between the first and second floors as well as the banded rustication of the ground floor and, most notably, the emphatic three-bay Ionic portico. Brettingham's porch is supported by columns with palm-leaf capitals and is approached by eight steps. Soane's alterations to Brettingham's entrance front (built of 'white' brick and stone-dressed) were related to the details so that, for example, the horizontal decorative elements were revised or removed and the dressings to windows were re-designed. The porch was re-cast with an Ionic order and enclosed sides and a five-bay balcony was added to the principal floor.



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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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