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  • image SM Adam volume 50/72

Reference number

SM Adam volume 50/72


[4] Design for the walls for the library, 1766, possibly executed


Elevations of the window and chimney walls of a fourteen-bay room divided into four areas. In the centre is a chimneypiece with volute stiles, and surmounted by busts, an urn and a figurative panel, and flanked by grotesque panels and lunettes. Opposite the chimneypiece is a three-bay window wall. This is flanked on either side by bookcases on the chimney wall, and aedicular bays containing urn-filled niches on the window wall. This is flanked by canted areas each containing three doors on the chimney wall, and a flat wall containing a single door on the window side. To the right is a further three-bay room


to a scale


Design of a Library for The Right Honble Lord Le Despencer / B (in pencil ) (verso) Ld Le Despencer / 1

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil and wash within a single ruled border on laid paper (588 x 398)


Adam office hand, possibly Robert Nasmith or William Hamilton, with pencil annotations in the hand of Robert Adam


X&DBC within a cartouche


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 39
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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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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