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  • image SM Adam volume 52/7

Reference number

SM Adam volume 52/7


[1] Rough preliminary design showing a plan of the the top of a harpsichord case, 1774, unexecuted


Rough plan of the top of the harpsichord. The top is tripartite, with two rectangular outer compartments being ornamented with a fan and foliate ornamentation on one side, and a figurative roundel on the other. The central compartment has a segmental section cut away for the player of the instrument, and is ornamented with triangular compartments, one of which contains a lyre crossed by flutes within an oval panel, and elsewhere the ornamentation is composed of arabesques


not to scale

Signed and dated

  • 1774
    datable to 1774

Medium and dimensions

Pencil on sugar paper (464 x 265)


Robert Adam


King, 2001, Volume II, p. 257
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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