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Working drawing for eating room chimney-piece, October 1787 (1)


The eating room chimney-piece in drawing 1 has a marble lining and moulded frieze and jambs made of 'composition', a material similar to stucco or cement. The frieze has a swag motif of oak leaves and acorns set between water leaf mouldings. Oak leaves are used in marine contexts, such as on the uniforms of the British navy (G. Darley, p. 217).

Soane recorded in his journal that he made working drawings for the eating room chimney-piece in October 1787 (Journal 1, p.43). The journal also records that Robert Woodgate (clerk 1788-91) made a drawing of the eating room chimney-piece on July 1st 1788 (only one day after he began working for Soane).

The inscription refers to 77 Welbeck Street, where Soane lived from 1786 until he moved to 12 Lincoln's Inn Fields, purchased in 1792.


P. Lewis and G. Darley, Dictionary of ornament, 1986, p. 217.



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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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Contents of Working drawing for eating room chimney-piece, October 1787 (1)