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  • image SM Adam volume 50/70

Reference number

SM Adam volume 50/70


[6] Record drawing of the plan and laid out elevations for the drawing room, c1780, probably as executed


Plan and laid out wall elevations of a rectangular room with a three-bay bow opposite the chimney wall, and the walls are ornamented by girandoles, and articulated by paired Corinthian pilasters ornamented with drops of palmettes, calyx, urns, female figures and tubular flowers, and surmounted by a frieze of seated female figures, tubular flowers, arabesques, griffons, urns on turned pedestals, and elliptical medallions. On each of the straight walls are doors with decorated panels, architraves ornamented with tubular flowers, griffons and arabesques, and with rectangular landscape overdoors. The long straight wall has a central chimneypiece, with stiles ornamented with drops, a frieze of tubular flowers flanked by arabesques, and a figurative tablet, supporting a candelabrum, and an overmantel mirror frame ornamented with drops of calyx, masks, enclosed anthemia, and surmounted by an elliptical medallion flanked by seated figures, putti and urns. The bow opposite contains three windows surmounted by curtain cornices ornamented with crockets and enclosed palmettes, and the bow is flanked by pier glasses


bar scale of 3½ inches to 10 feet


Section of the Drawing Room at Byram for Sir John Marsden (for Sir John Marsden in the hand of William Adam and underwritten in pencil)

Signed and dated

  • c1780
    datable to c1780

Medium and dimensions

Pen and coloured washes including cerulean blue, sepia, and Indian yellow on laid paper (657 x 714)


Adam office hand, possibly Joseph Bonomi or Robert Morison, with addition to title in the hand of William Adam


This drawing is one of three relating to Sir John Ramsden’s drawing room (see also Adam volumes 14/83 and 23/151). In conjunction with Adam volume 14/83, this drawing demonstrates Adam’s progression towards integrating elements into a unified design. Grotesque decoration links the shafts of the Corinthian pilasters, details of the walls (notably the frieze), door panels and chimneypiece.

Stillman notes certain affinities between this design and the great drawing room at No. 17 Hill St. and the music room at Home House.


Stillman, 1966, pp. 52, 77, 78, 79, Plate 55.
Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 5
Spiers, 1979, p. 72, Index, p. 5
King, 2001, Volume I, pp. 27, 252, 263
Harris, 2001, p. 9
Harris, 2007, p.111
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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