Drawing

18th century (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The lettering describes Fought as a Musical Topographer, although he was in fact a musical typographer. The inscription at the bottom of the design refers to carver Sefferin Alken, who lived at Dufours Court. He worked on many of Chambers's projects including Blenheim Palace, Charlemont House and Peper Harrow and presumably carved this shop sign. The sign has apparently not survived. One can perhaps suggest a personal link between Chambers and Fought to explain this minor commission.

Chambers was born in Sweden and died in London. He travelled widely, visiting China, and studied architecture at the Ecole des Arts, Paris, from 1749 and in Italy from 1750 to 1755. Many of his drawings from this period are contained in his important 'Franco-Italian' album, held in the V&A. Chambers moved to London in 1755 and published his influential Treatise on Civil Architecture in 1759. Chambers demonstrated the breadth of his style in buildings such as Gower (later Carrington) House and Melbourne House, London, in such country houses as Duddingston, Scotland, and in the garden architecture he designed for Wilton House, Wiltshire, and at Kew Gardens. He became head of government building in 1782, and in this capacity built Somerset House, London.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pen and ink, pencil and watercolour
Brief Description
Elevation of a shop sign, for Henry Fought's shop, St Martin's Lane, London, set over a door pediment; William Chambers.
Physical Description
Elevation of a shop sign, for Henry Fought's shop, St Martin's Lane, London, set over a door pediment. This design comprises a garland medallion surmounted by an owl with sheet music and wind instruments. The medallion contains a lyre with dolphin sides and a satyr mask. Behind this is a caduceus. Below the medallion is a lettered ribbon, which passes across the line of the pediment above the door. (Scale: 2 in to 1 ft).
Dimensions
  • Height: 497mm
  • Width: 357mm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'By the Kings' (in pencil, within the medallion)
  • 'Henry Fought Musical Topograph' (in pen and ink on the ribbon below)
  • 'By the Kings Patent ' (in pencil, below the pediment is lettered over a similar inscription, but spelled 'pattent')
  • 'Henry Fought Musical Typographer; Alken Broad Street dufour Court' (in pencil, below the design. The dimensions are given in pencil.)
Object history
Bought from E. Parsons, 1869.
Historical context
The lettering describes Fought as a Musical Topographer, although he was in fact a musical typographer. The inscription at the bottom of the design refers to carver Sefferin Alken, who lived at Dufours Court. He worked on many of Chambers's projects including Blenheim Palace, Charlemont House and Peper Harrow and presumably carved this shop sign. The sign has apparently not survived. One can perhaps suggest a personal link between Chambers and Fought to explain this minor commission.
Subjects depicted
Summary
The lettering describes Fought as a Musical Topographer, although he was in fact a musical typographer. The inscription at the bottom of the design refers to carver Sefferin Alken, who lived at Dufours Court. He worked on many of Chambers's projects including Blenheim Palace, Charlemont House and Peper Harrow and presumably carved this shop sign. The sign has apparently not survived. One can perhaps suggest a personal link between Chambers and Fought to explain this minor commission.



Chambers was born in Sweden and died in London. He travelled widely, visiting China, and studied architecture at the Ecole des Arts, Paris, from 1749 and in Italy from 1750 to 1755. Many of his drawings from this period are contained in his important 'Franco-Italian' album, held in the V&A. Chambers moved to London in 1755 and published his influential Treatise on Civil Architecture in 1759. Chambers demonstrated the breadth of his style in buildings such as Gower (later Carrington) House and Melbourne House, London, in such country houses as Duddingston, Scotland, and in the garden architecture he designed for Wilton House, Wiltshire, and at Kew Gardens. He became head of government building in 1782, and in this capacity built Somerset House, London.
Bibliographic References
  • Harris 1970, p.228.
  • Snodin Catalogue Number: 671
Collection
Accession Number
7078:50

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record createdJune 30, 2009
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