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  • image SM Adam volume 31/23

Reference number

SM Adam volume 31/23


[2] Design for an altar, c1769, unexecuted


Elevation of a gothic, stepped screen with a central castellated section containing a lancet arch. Set within the arch there is an altar raised on a base ornamented with rosette roundels and an ornamental compartmental band containing calyx and rosettes. Above this there are bands of roundels ornamented with acanthus leaves set within quatrefoil and lozenges, and a large central rosette ornamented with quatrefoil and acanthus leaves, all set within a lozenge band. This is flanked by stylised, paired Corinthian columns ornamented with fluting and strigilation. The central arch is flanked by paired, giant, fluted Corinthian columns, with two tiers of statues set in between. The statues are raised on fluted bases and set within niches with triangular arches with pinnacles above. The central section of the screen has a frieze of acanthus leaves set within a semi-circular-headed band. The crenulations are ornamented with draped figures set within ogee arches and flanked by rosettes, with foil enclosed within lozenges set in between. The crenulations terminate in pediments ornamented with rosette roundels flanked by fluted columns, and the pediments are surmounted by calyx and foil supporting calyx. The central section of the screen is flanked by ogee compartmental doorways, surrounded by a band of rosettes and surmounted by acanthus leaves and pinnacles. Above the doorway there is a lozenge band and a rosette roundel, and all this is set within a lancet arch. The arch is flanked by Corinthian columns and it is surmounted by acanthus leaves supporting a cross. Above there is a triangular apex surmounted by acanthus leaf pinnacles and calyx


bar scale of 5 inches to 10 feet


2nd Design of a Skreen for Kings College Cambridge (in the hand of William Adam) / (faint pencil inscription) skreen(?) for Kings College Cambridge

Signed and dated

  • c1769

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil and wash within a triple ruled border on laid paper (739 x 601)


James Adam, with title inscription in the hand of William Adam




Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index, p. 6
Doig, 1978, pp. 79-82
King, 2001, Volume II, p. 59
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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