English. Second Quarter Of The Eighteenth century.


Sizes Vary. Approximately:Framed: Width: 9 7/8” (25 cm); Height: 17 5/8” (44.7 cm). Sight size: Width: 6” (15.2 cm); Height: 13 7/8” (35.2 cm).

Ink and brown wash on paper.

Six drawings inscribed in pencil:

[Measurements given] 9′ 1″ and 5′ 5″

Chimney piece for ye Bed Chamber Story
The fascia of marble. The rest of wood.

[with scale and footprint]
Designe [sic] for Bed Chamber Hall Floor / all marble

Chimney piece for ye Bed Chamber Story
The Fascia of marble ye rest of wood

[indistinct writing at top]
marble wood
11 feet 11 to underside of cornish [sic]
3′ 8″

Design for Bed Room (?) floor
Indistinct writing and various measurements

As early as the Renaissance, interior decoration concepts were communicated through designs on paper, from sketches of single pieces of furniture to elevations of entire completed projects. Presentation drawings offered patrons a range of designs and materials to choose from when filling their homes with furniture and decorative objects. “Design firms and workshops often had a portfolio of drawings and modelbooks at hand which functioned as a catalog ‘avant la lettre’ for customers to choose their preferred designs, or to help them make decisions when creating a custom-made design.”1

This present set of fourteen designs for a chimneypieces and overmantels, dating from the early eighteenth century, represents a very rare survival of just such a collection of options provided to a patron. Seven of the drawings portray chimneypieces alone, while the remaining half are designed in combination with an overmantel, known at that time as a ‘continued chimneypiece.’ Several drawings indicate the scales and materials to be used, and some also show ‘footprint’ elevations. At least four of the present drawings indicate, through handwritten pencil inscriptions, that they were intended to stand within a bed chamber. Such grand architectural elements within a bedroom setting indicates that the drawings were submitted to a patron who owned one of the more important English country houses.

Full research report available on request.


Full research report available on request.