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  • image SM volume 111/62

Reference number

SM volume 111/62


Presentation design for a standing wall monument containing an unidentified man's bust in an oval panel




1 foot to 7/8 inches


By John Talman in pen and brown ink with triple-T collector's mark in centre of cartouche

Signed and dated

  • c.1680s

Medium and dimensions

Pen and brown ink with grey and grey-brown washes, over pencil under drawing


Edward Pearce


None visible


The monument is in three stepped bays, the central bay containing an oval panel framing a bust of an unidentified man in an academic's or cleric's gown and wearing a skull cap. The panel is framed by a banded laurel wreath, and the bust stands on a socle, from which descends a tongue-like strapwork scroll, below which is a folded ribbon, arranged symmetrically. These motifs may relate to the subject's academic garb. The central bay is flanked by narrow side panels with laurel leaf drops hung from laurel wreaths suspended from knotted ribbons. Either side are narrowed sweeped panels, the left one hung with a drop of books and quills (as an alternative ornamental addition). The pedestal base has dark marble cornice and basement mouldings (indicated by brown ink shading over grey wash) and the same marble colour is applied to the outer panels. The central panel has lugged mouldings at the top, and draped skulls peering out from the sides.

The monument is surmounted by a central oblong relief panel containing a strapwork cartouche. The panel is flanked by flattened scrolls sprouting acanthus leaves and topped by a segmental pediment carrying a flaming urn, decorated with gadrooning and diagonal fluting beneath a line of globe motifs around a wide central rim.

Prov: John Talman Collection


Wren Society, XVII, pl. 24, top



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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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