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  • image SM Adam volume 19/115

Reference number

SM Adam volume 19/115


[1] Finished drawing for the observatory, 1767


Plan of the basement storey of a circular building, with three entrances, behind which are curved elliptical lobbies, and a central circular room, and the entrances alternate with three windows onto passages to the central circular room, and with segmental recesses on each wall, forming a circular space in each passage, and with paired horse-show staircases on the principal front


bar scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot


Plan of the Basement Story (underwritten in pencil) / Wood / Coals

Signed and dated

  • 1767
    datable to 1767

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil and wash on laid paper (304 x 453)


Adam office hand, possibly William Hamilton


LVG surmounted by fleur de lis within crowned cartouche


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 26
King, 2001, Volume II, p. 223
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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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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