SOANE MUSEUM ADAM BESPOKE MIRROR COLLECTION

Shortly after a Soane Patrons’ private visit to the Ossowski antique mirrors gallery and restoration workshop, we were delighted to be asked by the Museum to assist in their ongoing endeavours to bring their collection to life. So it was that I found myself pouring over the Soane’s archive of Adam mirror frame designs with the intention for us to begin recreating some of the beautiful things I found there. My father founded our business in 1960 and with more than fifty years of dealing in and restoring original giltwood frames from the 18th century, we seem to be uniquely qualified to take this on. 

We still use the same techniques that would have been used by 18th century craftsmen. Everything in our workshop is done by hand. We carve wood by hand, we apply gesso and bole by hand, and we water-gild by hand. We know Robert Adam would approve. 

I am delighted that Ossowski has been given exclusive rights to reproduce Soane’s collection of Adam mirror designs, by commission, and that this will also enable us to support the important work carried out by the Museum. It’s an amazing moment, Robert Adam, nowadays almost a myth, and so admired by Soane, can become a material reality; we are very proud to be involved in this magical moment. With your help, we will be making some very beautiful looking-glasses. 

Mark Ossowski.

ROBERT ADAM

Robert and James Adam are famed as the pioneers of neo-classicism in Britain. Their work spans the breadth of the country and has influenced generations of architects, artisans and academics. Robert Adam was born in 1728, the second son of the leading Scottish architect William Adam. He and his younger brother James eventually settled in London to a life of architectural endeavour. Their fruitful partnership attracted over three hundred and fifty patrons during the course of their career, and resulted in some of the most beautiful architecture and interior design of the Georgian period.

After their death their brother William edited the office rolls and organised the drawings into typologically arranged folios. In 1833 the approximately 9,000 drawings were bought by Sir John Soane and delivered to his house in a wheelbarrow.

The Adams drawing collection at Sir John Soane’s Museum now comprises over 80% of the surviving Adam graphic material anywhere in the world and it has become a focal point of research into the Adam brothers’ work. It is of great benefit to Sir John Soane’s Museum that the Adam drawings collection is not only a tool for research and conservation – it is also a living collection which can inform and inspire contemporary architectural and interior decorative works.

COMMISSIONING

If you would like to discuss commissioning a Robert Adam mirror, please do get in touch with us.

To give you an idea of pricing, we expect most commissions to be between ten and twenty thousand pounds plus VAT. Obviously the cost will depend on size and complexity, but we will give you a firm final price before we begin. Payment terms are 50% with order and remainder on completion.

Photographs of ‘work in progress’ will be provided so you can watch as your unique commission takes shape.