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Finished drawing for a sofa for the saloon, 1764, as executed (1)


Adam invoiced for the sofa design in July 1765. Two sofas, along with four en suite armchairs, were designed for the front room on the first floor at 19 Arlington Street. This had previously been the dining room, but Adam treated it as a great room or saloon, and hung it with crimson damask. Adam's saloon was refitted in 1784, when it received the Gobelins Boucher-Neilson tapestries from the gallery at Moor Park, along with the en suite furniture upholstered in tapestry. As such, Adam's original furniture for the room was moved to the blue drawing room on the floor below.

According to Christopher Gilbert, the sofas and armchairs for the saloon at 19 Arlington Street were the most expensive that had ever been made in this style. They were sold by the Marquis of Zetland at Sotheby's, London, following the demolition of the house, on 6 June 1947. The sofas were sold again at Christie's, London, on 3 July 1997, and are now at Duff House, Banff. Within the same sale was a pair of the armchairs. These armchairs were acquired by the National Museum of Scotland in 2002. A third chair is within the collection at the V&A Museum, and is still upholstered in the original red damask. There are no known extant drawings for the armchairs.

As well as designing the sofas and armchairs, Adam also made a design for six painted terms for the corners of the saloon. These were made to support brass girandoles. Adam charged Dundas £3.3s. for the design in 1765, and a pair of these terms survive at the V&A. Although there is no extant drawing for the term design, it has been noted by Harris that similar designs survive at the Soane Museum for Sir John Astley at Patshull (SM Adam volume 17/58) and Sir John Griffin Griffin at Audley End (SM Adam volume 17/59).



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Contents of Finished drawing for a sofa for the saloon, 1764, as executed (1)