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  • image SM volume 57/2

Reference number

SM volume 57/2


[3] Record drawing of details for the book room, dated 9 September 1786


Details of the book room shelves, doors and windows


½ Size


Richard Milles Esq, 2, Cornice and Pilaster for Bookcase, Line of Cornice, Ground Line, Architrave to Doors and Windows / of Ante Room ½ Size, One of the Upright Bookcases M ½ Size, Section of Book Shelves ½ Size, Molding for Pannel K

Signed and dated

  • September 9. 1786

Medium and dimensions

pen, grey and sepia washes, shaded, pencil additions on laid paper (415 x 282)


John McDonnell (pupil February 1786-91)


J Whatman


Three of the five designs on this drawing are for bookshelves or bookcases presumably intended for the 'Book Room.' The cost of the alterations to the book room or library was £38 0s 11¼d (SM Bill Book 1, pp. 1-5) although it is not known whether this involved refurbishing an existing library or adapting a room which had previously had a different purpose.


P. Dean, Sir John Soane and the country estate, 1999, p.176



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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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