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  • image SM Adam volume 8/20

Reference number

SM Adam volume 8/20


[1] Preliminary design for a ceiling for the first drawing room, 1771, as executed


Plan of a tripartite, rectangular ceiling, divided by bands of cable moulding, connected by Greek cross-shaped compartments containing enclosed rosettes framed by four anthemia, and the whole is set within a border of Vitruvian scroll. The central square compartment has a central medallion, enclosed within a fluted frame, and festoons, and supporting four drops composed of bows, peltoid shields, and calyx, and the whole is set within a shaped x-shape frame of beading, with a segmental compartment on each side, containing an urn flanked by rinceaux, and the central square is flanked by rectangular compartments, containing oval medallions, enclosed within lozenges and festoons, and flanked by portions of rinceaux


not to scale


some measurements given

Signed and dated

  • 1771
    datable to 1771

Medium and dimensions

Pencil on laid paper (334 x 227)


Robert Adam


Crowned cartouche (cropped)


Stillman, 1966, p. 102
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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