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  • image SM Adam volume 49/1

Reference number

SM Adam volume 49/1


[21] Design for an illumination for the garden at Buckingham House, commissioned by Queen Charlotte, 1763, unexecuted


Elevation of a nineteen-bay, curved arcaded structure, with higher middle and end bays, and an attic above the remaining bays. The central bay is surmounted by the royal arms, military trophies, and a sculpted lion and unicorn, and a tripartite cupola. The centre of each quadrant link is surmounted by a pyramidal structure, and the two end bays have shallow pediments. The five widest bays are articulated by Ionic columns and pilasters, and the others with paired Doric pilasters. There are three large figurative transparencies in the central bay, and in each of the central bays of the two quadrants, and there are further transparencies in the attic. The entire structure is further ornamented with sculpture


bar scale of 1/5 inch to 1 foot


Design of an Illumination for the Queen at Buckingham House

Signed and dated

  • 1763
    datable to 1763

Medium and dimensions

Pen and coloured washes including Indian yellow, pink and cerulean blue within a single ruled border on laid paper (1245 x 448)


Adam office hand, possibly George Richardson


Gentleman's Magazine, 1763, p. 30
Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 35
King, 2001, Volume I, p. 375, Volume II, pp. 269-70
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



Exhibition history

Robert Adam's London, Sir John Soane's Museum, London, 30 November 2016 - 11 March 2017

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).