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Robert Adam (1728-1792)
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Robert Adam (1728-1792)

Design for a chimney-piece

Details
Robert Adam (1728-1792)
Design for a chimney-piece
inscribed and dated 'Adelphi Decr 21st' (lower right in the margin) and further inscribed with measurements
one black ink; one brown ink and grey wash, one watermark I VILLEDARY, unframed
9¾ x 12¼ in. (24.8 x 31 cm.); and a further chimney-piece by another hand circa 1765 (2)
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Lot Essay

The first drawing is a George III design for the elegant pearled and palm-flowered chimney-piece, with Grecian urn-capped Ionic pilasters, reflects the antique/Etruscan style of the Rome-trained court architect Robert Adam (d.1792); and was executed in 1775 in the Adam brother's Adelphi offices for Mr. Abraham Dakin at No. 31 Portland Place. The design of the statuary marble chimney-piece was executed for the drawing room, and harmonised with a ceiling, whose stuccoed sacred urns recalled the Roman columbarium and evoked 'sacrifices at love's altar'. A less finished design for this chimney-piece is in the Adam archives (vol. 21 no. 122) at the Sir John Soane Museum (A. Bolton, The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, London, 1984 vol. II, pp. 111, 110 and Index p. 46). This Adelphic Etruscan style was popularised by Robert and James Adam's, Works in Architecture, 1773-78.

The second drawing is a George II design for a chimneypiece, with Ionic hermed pilasters, and derives from a pattern invented by Inigo Jones (d.1652) and published in Isaac Ware's, Designs of Inigo Jones and William Kent, 1733 pl. 2
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