Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Tracing of design


  • image volume 42/64

Reference number

volume 42/64


Tracing of design


Details of chimney-piece with fluted, tapered pilasters and a central plaque with tazza and birds motif on the frieze; detail of base labelled a; details of pilaster (with leaf and dart enriched mouldings) to a larger scale


to a scale


as above, Chimney piece was / Library at Claremont and some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • datable to c. 1771-4

Medium and dimensions

Pen on tracing paper (102 x 198)


traced by Soane, Henry Holland office


'...the central urn motif is similar to the one that exists. However, the design exactly relates in every detail to a carved wood chimney-piece in one of the bedrooms on the first floor. Perhaps this was originally in the Library but was subsequently replaced by the much more elaborate carved marble one which is there now' (letter from Howard Farrar, Claremont Fan Court School, 23.7.01). A photograph made in 1945 (National Monuments Record CC47/2940) shows a chimney-piece in the library with anthemion and bell-flower drops that match the ornament of the bookcases. The chimney-piece has a central plaque on the frieze decorated with a pair of urns.
Another traced design (42/66) has a slightly different tazza and birds motif. Two pigeons lying on a dish can refer to Nicholas of Tolentino, a hermit who 'restored to life a dish of roast birds that were brought to him while he lay sick'. (K.Hall, Dictionary of subjects and symbols in art, 1974)



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).