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Architectural design
  • Architectural design
    Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796
  • Enlarge image

Architectural design

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    18th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796 (designer)
    Yenn, John, born 1750 - died 1832 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink, pencil and blue and grey washes. Laid on to a partially removed nineteenth-century backing sheet.

  • Museum number:

    E.4982-1910

  • Gallery location:

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

Elevation of a mirror frame ornamented with scallop shells by John Yenn (1750-1821) from the office of leading architect and designer Sir William Chambers (1723-1796). The top of the main frame is formed as a double curve. It is surmounted by a smaller subsidiary frame, asymmetrically wreathed in palm and oak fronds.

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 mirror frame ornamented with scallop shells. The top of the main frame is formed as a double curve. It is surmounted by a smaller subsidiary frame, asymmetrically wreathed in palm and oak fronds.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)

Date

18th century (made)

Artist/maker

Sir William Chambers, born 1723 - died 1796 (designer)
Yenn, John, born 1750 - died 1832 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink, pencil and blue and grey washes. Laid on to a partially removed nineteenth-century backing sheet.

Dimensions

Height: 375 mm, Width: 235 mm

Object history note

Bought from J. Starkie Gardner, 1910.

Descriptive line

Elevation of a mirror frame ornamented with scallop shells, 18th century, John Yenn (1750-1821) office of Sir William Chambers (1723-1796).

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

Snodin, M. Sir William Chambers. London: V&A Publications, 1996.

Production Note

Attribution note: Drawn in an office hand, perhaps that of John Yenn.

Materials

Pen and ink; Pencil; Grey wash

Techniques

Drawing; Painting

Subjects depicted

Palm leaf; Frame; Scallop shell; Mirror; Oak

Categories

Designs; Drawings; Metalwork

Production Type

Design

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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