Design for Chimney-Piece with Garlands 

Creator(s):   Grinling Gibbons 1648-1721

Date:    Undated, but probably dating 1689-94

Accession Number:   SM 110/33

Dimensions:   375mm x 237mm

Materials:   Pen and brown ink over graphite under-drawing with pink, yellow ochre and grey-green wash; on smooth laid white writing paper

Location:   Sir John Soane's Museum

Credit Line (copyright notice for material) :   © Sir John Soane's Museum

Online Catalogue Entry :

Design for Chimney-Piece with Garlands © Sir John Soane's Museum


Design for a chimney-piece with garlands. The design presents alternatives for pendant foliage and drapery motifs, hung from a central drapery knot above the picture frame. Characteristically, the top of this central knot reaches into the zone of the cornice. On the left side, bunches of fruit and flowers are attached to a drapery swag, which is drawn across to the right halfway down while the drop hangs vertically alongside the picture frame. On the right, foliate masses hang with two winged putti heads to a ribbon pinned to a nail in the top right-hand corner and hung across from the central knot, where fronds spray out, left and right. This drop is brought round the bottom of the frame as a swag and hangs from its centre above a crown flanked by a cherub’s head. In this right half of the design an oval panel is proposed for the deep frieze above the fire surround, and to its right are further swags and whorls of foliage. The left side of the design in this zone presents a simple rectangular frame.

Literature: Esterly, Gibbons, 1998, p. 105, fig. 79; Wren Society, IV, pl. 33, top.

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation.

If you have any further information about this object, please contact: [email protected]