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  • image SM Adam volume 50/27

Reference number

SM Adam volume 50/27


[5] Finished drawing for the north side of the great staircase, c1777, as executed


Section showing the north side of the great staircase. At ground-storey level there is a doorway positioned to the right, with a part of the dog-leg staircase shown. At first-storey level there is a central painted panel, flanked by doors, with medallions and swags set above. At second-storey level there is a central compartment ornamented with a figurative tablet, which is surmounted by an urn and winged sphinxes, and has an apron of ox skull and festoons. This central compartment is flanked by panels ornamented with cameos, festoons and arabesques, surmounted by urns bearing anthemia. Above this there is a frieze of fluting, a coved ceiling, and a band of festoons, ribbons and rosettes


bar scale of 1¾ inches to 5 feet


North side of Great Staircase at Wormsley / (and in the hand of William Adam) the seat of Sir Abraham Hume (underwritten in pencil)

Signed and dated

  • c1777

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil, wash and pink wash within a single ruled border on laid paper (376 x 526)


Office hand, with part title inscription in the hand of William Adam




GR surmounted by a fleur-de-lis within a crowned cartouche


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 31
Harris, 2001, p. 71
King, 2001, Volume I, pp. 16, 26, 127, 258-59
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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