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Finished drawing for a sideboard table for the drawing room, 1765, executed with alterations (1)


The executed sideboard tables in the drawing room at Syon are a modified version of this design. They have ram heads at the top of the legs rather than masks, an apron of segmental rosettes enclosed within fans, rather than anthemia and festoons, the frieze is ornamented with double calyx alternating with stigils, rather than enclosed anthemia, and there is no guilloche along the edge of the table slab. The Roman mosaic inset in the slab reputedly came from the Baths of Titus, and cost £200.

This design was repeated almost exactly for the Earl of Coventry for the gallery at Croome Court. A pair of tables were made and one of these survives at the Philadelphi Museum of Art. The design is included in volume II of The works in architecture of Robert and James Adam, and labelled as being for Lord Bute, suggesting that it had been rejected by the Duke of Northumberland.

Other furniture in this room includes a long stool datable to c1775, possibly by Adam; a fine escritoire by the cabinetmakers Ince and Mayhew (not to an Adam design), and a collection of nineteenth-century seat furniture which appears to have been designed to match the eighteenth-century long stool.



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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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Contents of Finished drawing for a sideboard table for the drawing room, 1765, executed with alterations (1)