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  • image SM Adam volume 52/5

Reference number

SM Adam volume 52/5


[25] Rough preliminary drawing made for publication for a title plate, 1773, unused


Design, intended for engraving, for the publication of the Kenwood part of The Works in architecture of Robert and James Adam. The central inscription is within a rectangular, framed panel, surmounted by an urn and sphinxes, ornamented below by bows, swags, calyx, peltoid shields, and garlands, all of which is enclosed by a wreath of oak leaves complete with acorns. Beneath is a further inscription regarding the publisher, and this is framed with beading, and a foil-shaped motif. To the left is a small design of a pedestal containing a putto, and to the right is a design for an incense burner supported by sphinxes, and with a small pencil section for the frame below


not to scale


Designs of Kenwood / Being the 2d Number if the / Works in Architecture / of / Robert & James Adam Esqr / Sold by T. Becket in the Strand & other Booksellers in Town & Country / 1773

Signed and dated

  • 1773

Medium and dimensions

Brown pen and pencil on sugar paper (492 x 293)


Robert Adam


Tait, 1996, p. 46
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



Exhibition history

Robert Adam, The Creative Mind: from the Sketch to the Finished Drawing, Sir John Soane's Museum, 4 October 1996 - 1 March 1997; The Frick Collection, New York, December 1997 - April 1998; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, May - June 1998; The Octagon Museum, Washington, July 1998 - January 1999; Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, February - March 1999

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).