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4. 'Italian Sketches,' 1779 (SM volume 39)

Italian sketchbook with notes, 1779 (dated from 4 January to 24 March 1779)Label on front cover inscribed Italian Sketches. / J. Soane. / 1779. (by G. Bailey, Soane Museum curator 1837-60) with 91 leaves of laid paper variously watermarked. Some watermarks have a dove over monti within a roundel with F or S below; the monti sometimes flanked by G and A, with the dove having a sprig in its beak. (E. Heawood, Watermarks mainly of the 17th and 18th centuries, volume I, Paper Publications Society, Hilversum, 1950: watermarks Nos 160 - 169 are close.) Bound in vellum with flap and vellum tie (146 x 101). The sketchbook is of a type made in Italy. The medium is pen except where pencil is stated and all the drawings are freehand, that is, 'rough'. The leaves were numbered by a past curator on the top right-hand side of each recto (1, 2, 3 etc).The period covered in this sketchbook, (dated) from 4 January to 24 March 1779, partly overlaps with entries made from 22 December 1778 to 4 March 1779 in Soane's 'Italian Sketches and Mema' (SM volume 164) q.v. From this, it seems that on 22 December 1778, Soane left Rome with Frederick Hervey, Bishop of Derry. By 4 January 1779 Soane was at Pozzuoli (9v) and the following day at Pompeii (13v). On 13 January he notes Monte Nuovo (Add/1r). From 26 to 27 January, he was at Paestum (14v, 20r). The next recorded date is 13 February when he left Naples and came to Salerno (29v) and spent the next three days (14 to 16 February) at Paestum (29v, 32v). On 16 February he travelled to Cappacio, on 17th to Supina and on 18th came to the Carthusian charterhouse of San Lorenzo (34r), viewing it on 19 February (34v) and noting that it was about 80 miles from Naples and that from San Lorenzo to Supino 24 miles, from thence to Salerno 27 miles and a further 27 miles to Naples (35r, 36v). The next day, Soane notes the Ponte di Campistrina (36v) and reached Salerno on 22 February (37v, 38v). The next dated entry is for 12 March 1779 when he left Naples with the Bishop of Derry and came to Capua (46v, 47r), the following day they left Capua (47v) and reached Gaeta by 14 March (52r, 52v) and went from there to Fondi the next day (53r, 53v). Entries dated 16 March mention the Pontine Marshes (54v, 57v), Mesa ad Medias on 17 March (56v), the Appian Way on March 18, and about 45 or 46 miles from Rome (57v) view of the island of Ponsa on 19 March (57v), Santa Felice on 20 March (58r), Abbadia and lay at Piperno (which was 32 miles from Veletri) on 21 March (60v), Veletri (24 miles from Rome) on 22 March (60v), Veletri to Gensano on 23 March (61v), Albano on 23 March (63r), and the last entry is for 24 March when they have left Albano and are on the Appian Way (64v, 65r).It seems that from 12 March 1779, Soane and the Bishop of Derry were retracing the route of the ancient Via Appia. The Bishop is mentioned three times (ff. 36r, 59r, 63r), there is an allusion to farming practice in Ireland (57v), reference is made to the North of Ireland (58r), and the sketchbook concludes with Soane's designs for alterations and additions to Downhill, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland - for the Bishop. In this sketchbook, the only specific reference to fellow travellers is in an entry for 13 February 1779 (29v) when Soane 'left Naples with Sir Geo. Strickland & Mr Freeman'. Mention is made, for example, of Thomas Pitt, William Morland and Rowland Burdon (39r).
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