John Yenn architectural and design drawings
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The library collection folder contains a typed note by Maurice Krakow of the Architectural Book Publishing Company of New York, New York, which accompanied this volume. Krakow stated that the drawings were "undoubtedly original working drawings from the office of Henry Holland," and appended a biographical note on Holland from Joseph Gwilt'sAn Encyclopedia of Architecture, Historical, Theoretical, and Practical (1842). Holland was a contemporary of Yenn and was known for his designs for Dover House (1786), Drury Lane Theatre (1791), and the original "Pavilion" at Brighton (1800). Holland also redesigned the interiors of Carlton House in the late 1780s. It is possible that this volume was misattributed to Holland's office because it includes two architectural drawings of Carlton House. However, the verso of one of these drawings features designs for Woodstock Church, a Yenn project with no connection to Holland. Because of the attribution to Holland, his name was included on the volume's spine when it underwent conservation treatment in the 1990s and received a new cloth case binding.
This volume of architectural and furniture design drawings by English architect John Yenn was created between the 1760s and 1790s. It includes designs for Carlton House, Blenheim Palace, Ealing Grove, Marlborough House, Woodstock Church, Grantham House, North Aston Hall, Kensington Gardens, and several unidentified residences.
The designs in this volume are ink drawings, many of which were hand-colored with watercolor. The architectural designs for the Porter's Lodge at Carlton House were likely executed under the guidance of Yenn's mentor, architect Sir William Chambers (1723-1796). Many of the designs relate to the residences of the 4th Duke of Marlborough, George Spencer. For Blenheim Palace, Yenn designed the Temple of Health, lodges for Ditchley Gate, and a mahogany library table (ca. 1770s-1789). For Marlborough House, he designed an observatory, saloon, drawing room, and anteroom to the drawing room (ca. 1780s). At the Duke's residence Ealing Grove, Yenn designed several pieces of furniture for the dining room, library, and drawing room (ca. 1780). These included a writing table, oval looking glasses, and pedestal with a vase that would hold and dispense water.
Yenn also designed a new aisle and tower for Woodstock Church in Oxfordshire, close to the Duke's residence at Blenheim (ca. 1783). The aisle included plain arches with tall, rounded windows along a paneled gallery. His design for the church tower featured an arched door surrounded by rusticated quoins, arched windows, and a crenellated top. It is probable that Yenn's design for the tower was never executed. Architects Stephen Townesend and John Church built a new tower for Woodstock Church between 1784 and 1786.
Several drawings of garden and alcove seats for Kensington Gardens were likely made after Yenn was appointed Clerk of the Works in 1782. Yenn also completed work on North Aston Hall and Grantham House at Whitehall in the early 1780s. This volume includes his designs for a porch and hall at North Aston, as well as drawings of chimneys for the music room and library. Yenn's designs for Grantham House include a covered passage of communication and furniture pieces for the front parlor, dining room, and state dressing room. Yenn noted on his drawing of an elevation for the passage of communication that "Mr. Austin has these mouldings the real size." It is possible that Yenn was referring to George Austin, the carpenter at Blenheim Palace.
The volume includes several designs for unidentified residences, including a house on Charlotte Street. On a drawing of a clock case, Yenn noted that it was "Executed in Mahogany for the Rt Honble Lord Clive Ao 1782." Yenn likely referred to Edward Clive, later Earl of Powis. Design drawings for unidentified residences include a table frame, several doorways, a mirror surmounted by an earl's coronet, and a barometer.
The volume received conservation treatment from the Center for Conservation of Art and Historic Artifacts in 1994. The volume is bound in gray cloth and features the words "Holland, Henry/Drawings" in black print on the spine. It contains 38 leaves of designs, many with drawings on both the recto and verso.
Box 1: Shelved in SPEC GRA oversize boxes osz 20
A digitized copy of the volume is available at the University of Delaware Digital Institutional Repository.
Library acquisition predates 1971. Source unknown.
Processed by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, November 2017.
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2017 November 1
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec