— Adam Fireplace Collection —

The Adam Collection comprises designs for six chimneypieces from drawings from the office of Robert and James Adam. The collection is made under exclusive licence from Sir John Soane's Museum, which holds the largest collection of drawings by the great 18th century architect.

Robert Adam (1728-92) was the most influential and original architect of his age.

He is rightly credited with the popularisation of the style that is known as Neo-classical and which defined the later Georgian period. Returning to England from Italy in 1758 he introduced a style of architecture and interior decoration based on design ideas from ancient Greece and Rome, interpreting and applying this classicism in a light and playful manner.

Sir John Soane, himself an architectural visionary, described Adam’s work as a “revolution in art” and it unquestionably influenced every aspect of interior decoration during the late 18th century. Adam devoted much time to applying this new form to the design of fireplaces, recognising, like all great architects, that a successfully executed fireplace is the key to the balance and symmetry of a room.

There were features of Adam’s work that separated it from the severe classicism of his predecessors and which allowed him to create a range of fireplace designs that was quite unique.

Adam’s approach was to use statuary marble not only as a medium for fine carved detail but also as a base for the inlay of a variety of richly coloured marbles.

Purists of the period were offended by this development but it added a new dimension to fireplace design with the rich colour offered by intricately inlaid patterns of marble such as convent siena, Sicilian jasper and Spanish brocatelle enhancing the visual impact and presence of many fireplaces of the period.

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