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Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (probably, made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink, pencil and watercolour

  • Museum number:

    7078:50

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case A, shelf 229, box B

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.

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).

Place of Origin

Britain (probably, made)

Date

18th century (made)

Artist/maker

Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink, pencil and watercolour

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.

Dimensions

Height: 497 mm, Width: 357 mm

Object history note

Bought from E. Parsons, 1869.

Historical context note

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.

Descriptive line

Elevation of a shop sign, for Henry Fought's shop, St Martin's Lane, London, set over a door pediment; William Chambers.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Harris 1970, p.228.
Snodin Catalogue Number: 671

Materials

Pen and ink; Pencil; Watercolour

Techniques

Drawing

Subjects depicted

Satyr; Medallion; Garland; Dolphin; Lyre; Wind instrument; Sheet music; Caduceus; Owl; Mask; Pediment; Ribbon; Shop sign

Categories

Designs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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