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Staircase ornament (eagle) from Carlton House (pair with M258)
Museum number: M282
This object and its pair (M258) are spandrels in the form of eagles from the grand staircase of Carlton House, fronting Waterloo Place, just off Pall Mall. It was rebuilt as the Prince Regent’s London palace by one of Soane’s early teachers, the architect Henry Holland (1745-1806) between 1783 and 1796. The staircase was oval in plan with eight of these eagles between semi-circular headed openings in the walls, two of which contained figures holding a clock and a wind-dial. Carlton House was demolished in 1828, when Soane must have obtained these eagles.
Soane records in his 1835 Description that the two pairs of plaster eagle ornaments M258, M282 and M431 and M440, 'formerly made part of the architectural decorations of Carlton House, and were preserved when that superb structure, with the noble portico in front, and one of the most classical vestibules in Europe, leading into a highly decorated staircase, and suite of magnificent apartments, were demolished'.
Sir J. Soane, Description, 1835, p.31
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