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Working drawings for first floor chimney-pieces, 28 February and 17 March 1789 (2)


Soane recorded in his journal (Journal No 2) on 17 March 1789 that he sent Fairburn working drawings for finishing the new wing, and on the 24th he records that he sent Fairburn working drawings for a chimney-piece, probably for part of the new wing.

Drawing 6 has designs for chimney-pieces in six rooms. The chimney-pieces in the west bedroom, west dressing room and north dressing room are of different dimensions but following the same design, as shown on the recto of the sheet. The other three chimney-pieces have larger dimensions: the south bedroom chimney-piece has an opening 3 feet 3 inches wide; the ladies' library chimney-piece is 3 feet 4 and a half inches wide; and Sir Alexander's Room has a chimney-piece measuring 3 feet 6 inches wide. The ladies' library and Sir Alexander's room are on the 'Hall floor'. Drawing 7 shows the chimney-pieces in these two rooms. The ladies' library has a chimney-piece with a water leaf motif on the frieze. The jambs are fluted with cabling on the lower elevation. The chimney-piece in Alexander Hood's room is simpler, having fluted jambs and frieze (heavily shaded in the drawing) and corner blocks with scroll motifs that resemble inverted volutes.



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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 drawings for first floor chimney-pieces, 28 February and 17 March 1789 (2)