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  • image SM volume 42/4

Reference number

SM volume 42/4


Sketch design


Details of underpinning for a canted bay


(Soane) Recd of Sir W.C. Octr 7.1793

Signed and dated

  • as above ( 7 October 1793)

Medium and dimensions

Brown pen on laid paper, pricked for transfer with four fold marks (97 x 209)


Sir William Chambers (1723-96)


n/a pasted down


It is interesting that this rapidly drawn detail of Chambers's foundation design was important enough to have been copied; the size of the pin holes suggest that this was the original drawing rather than a copy. The drawing appears to be a plan of a canted bay (probably with a window) and its underpinning. The 'Minutes & Proceedings Jany 1793 to Decr 1799 Vol 18' (National Archives Work 4/18) for 20 September 1793 records the business of 'the Bow of the house intended to be used as a Secretary of States office ... to be taken down - and Sir Wm Chambers having in consequence survey'd the Same [suggested] that the said Bow might be repaired without taking down and at much less expense'. The house was 'Lord Sheffields late house in Downing Square' (elsewhere in the Minutes described as in Downing Street) and the repair was agreed on 27 September, and work was proceeding on 11 October 1793. See also note to following drawing SM volume 42/5



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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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