This characteristic sheet shows William Kent’s habit of combining his designs with whimsical marginalia.
The studies at the top of the sheet, neatly contained within drawn borders, appear to be designs for furniture or picture frames; on the left a cartouche is surmounted by a mitre, crosier and cross possibly to surmount the portrait of a bishop and on the right a cartouche with a mace, suggesting it may have been designed for the portrait of a Lord Chancellor. During the 1730s Kent was involved in a series of schemes for rebuilding and refurbishing government buildings, including a new parliament building and the present designs may well relate to an aspect of the interior. At the bottom of the sheet is a small drawing of a cartouche containing swags, a female mask and shell, is reminiscent of motifs found on Kent’s seat furniture. The head of a young woman is typical of Kent’s ideal of female beauty and a variant features in many of his designs and drawings.