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SOANE, Sir John (1753--1837)
[Description of the house and museum. 1830]
Description of the house and museum on the north side of Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, the residence of John Soane, ...
London: printed by James Moyes, 1830.
[6], 56 p., 17 pl. (4 engr., 13 litho.) ; 29.5 cm. (royal 4°)

Not published. 250 copies were printed for private distribution at Soane's expense by James Moyes, 28 April 1830. (Archive 7/14/34). With a half-title reading 'Description Of The Residence Of John Soane, Architect; With Some General Remarks On The State Of Architecture In England In The Nineteenth Century, And On The Qualifications And Duties Of An Architect, Etc. Etc.Etc.' This is the first of three descriptions of the house and museum at 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields to be compiled by Soane, three years after John Britton's publication of The union of of architecture, sculpture, and painting; exemplified by a series of illustrations, with descriptive accounts of the house and galleries of John Soane in 1827 (q.v.; large paper issue, q.v.). Another 'edition', essentially an updated and abridged version of the present description was printed by Moyes in 1832 (q.v.), and a substantially revised and enlarged edition was printed in 1835/36 (q.v.). The 1830 Description includes three plates which had first appeared as plates I, XV and XVI in Britton's Union, here reworked and renumbered as pl. II, VIII and IX; these represent the plates that Soane had managed to get out of Britton by the beginning of 1830, for use in preference to the newer, less highly regarded technology of lithography. Plates 12, 14 and 15 are related, though not identical to the three watercolour drawings of the Shakespeare Recess, the Tivoli Recess and the Library-Dining Room, pasted into Soane's small-paper copy of Britton's Union and attributed to C.J. Richardson. Preparatory drawings and other material related to the Description of 1830, 1832 and 1835/36 can be found in SM Drawings Vol. 82; Vol 85A (i.e. copy 1 of the present work); Drawer 60 Set 2; the Hobhouse Portfolio; and the British Library volume which is the subject of an article by Bianca De Divitiis, 'A newly discovered volume from the office of Sir John Soane', Burlington Magazine, CXIV (March 2003), pp. 180--197. A 'Catalogue of the Names of Persons who are to have the description of the House and Museum' dated 31 March 1830 in the Soane archive includes on the final page a summary of the costs of the work.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Interleaved with tissue paper and with watercolour drawings of the printed plates 1--8, 10--17 and designs A and B for the New State Paper Office (following plate 17) pasted on leaves bound to face the plates. The drawing of designs A and B for the New State Paper Office is inscribed in ink by Soane Copy. and John Soane Archt / Lincoln's Inn Fields / 1st Decr 1830.
Copy 2: 32.2 cm.
Copy 3: 32.1 cm. This copy is evidently one of those privately circulated by Soane as it is inscribed by him in ink on the cover-label Not published and at the foot of the title-page From the Author / Not published. It is not clear when the volume returned to the Museum, but this was certainly after Soane's death and probably considerably later on the evidence of bibliographical notes in ink and pencil on the endpapers in a C20th hand; a further pencil inscription 18/11/05 [cypher] Wilson on the front pastedown may refer to the date 18 November 1905. A five-line extract from an unidentified periodical is laid down on the front free-endpaper, reading '"Old Soane must have taken some pains to scrape together so many curiosities and nick-nacks," said Beazeley to a friend. "So he has," replied the other; "but that's no excuse for his acting against the usual course of nature." - "Explain." - Why you see he is determined that the son shall not take after his father." This reference to Soane's private act of parliament (1833) is inscribed in ink 14.4.33.
Copy 4: 32.3 cm. Imperfect; wanting pl. 3 of the Breakfast Room. With marginal notes in pencil by A. T. Bolton.
Copy 5: 30.5 cm. The binding of this copy suggests it may have been one of those displayed in the Museum for consultation by visitors.
Copy 6: Imperfect; wanting the plates. This copy consists of the text only, bound (3) in a composite volume labelled on the spine 'Sir John Soane Memoirs &c.', assembled for the use of the curators in 1919, and retaining the original front wrapper with printed cover-label inscribed in ink by Soane 17 April 1830. Bound in at pp. 2--3 of the text is an added plate of the obverse and reverse of the medals presented to Soane, engraved by Freebairn after Corbould, which appeared as a vignette in the 1835/36 Description (q.v.), and a proof of a wood-engraving of the obverse profile inscribed in pencil first proof; two further proofs respectively inscribed 2d proof and finished Proof are bound to face p. 7. Inscribed at the foot of page 48 in Soane's hand (cropped at the foot) are six lines of verse by Soane's friend, the newspaper editor John Taylor, about the recent death (7 January 1830) of Sir Thomas Lawrence and his portrait of Soane finished in 1829, commencing Lawrence ere death compell'd thee to depart, / ... (see Priv. Corr. IV.T.7.98; reproduced in A.T. Bolton (ed.), The portrait of Sir John Soane, R.A. (London 1927), p. 435). Page 45 inscribed by Soane with the note 45 & 46 Reprint 19 Ap. 30 and with a marginal note; a similar inscription at the head of p. 39, 39 & 40 reprint 19 Sep. [1830], heavily cropped. The front wrapper is also faintly inscribed in pencil in Soane's hand Mr Thos Gaspey Esqr / 6 Tavistock Street. This may suggest a connection to a printed proof of a review of the 1830 Description submitted to Soane by the novelist and journalist Thomas Gaspey on 18 July 1830; Soane replied on 21 July requesting it not be published and wishing that no description of my / House should appear beyond ... / the unpublish-/ ed Volume. (Priv. Corr. I.G.2). A second copy of the 'Appendix' only is bound in the same volume after the extended version of the description of Pitzhanger, 1833 (q.v.).

Binding Copy 1: Original C19th morocco, gilt and blind-tooled and ruled panels, the front cover gilt-lettered 'Description / Of The / House & Museum / Of / John Soane, Arch.t'; gilt and blind-tooled spine, gilt- lettered 'Residence / of / John Soane / Architect', gilt edges, blue silk bookmark. Six copies were bound by Edwin Hutchinson in 'Morrocco elegant gilt edges' for £7 10s. 0d., 8 May 1830, and two more on 22 May of the same year for £2 10s. 0d. (Archive 7/14/43).
Copy 2: Original C19th buff paper boards, upper cover with printed label with title 'Description Of The Residence Of John Soane, Architect' and list of the plates. Forty copies were bound in 'extra bds' by Edwin Hutchinson for £4 0s. 0d., 8 May 1830, and forty more on 22 May. (Archive 7/14/43). The paper label was printed by James Moyes. (Archive 7/14/34).
Copy 3: Original C19th buff paper boards, upper cover with printed label as above.
Copy 4: Original C19th buff paper boards, upper cover with printed label as above.
Copy 5: Later C19th(?) half stained textured sheep, pebble-grained binder's cloth, the front cover gilt-lettered with title, gilt double-ruled spine.
Copy 6: C20th half maroon sheep, marbled-paper boards. Bound for the use of the curators of Sir John Soane's Museum, May 1919.

Reference Number 6619


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