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Reading, Berkshire: Design for a market cross or obelisk for Edward Simeon, 1804 (3)


Edward Simeon (c.1753-1812) was a wealthy City merchant, and director of the Bank of England from 1792 to 1811. He had links with Reading for he was married and eventually buried there. On 4 January 1804 Simeon wriote to the Mayor of Reading offering to pay for an obelilsk in the centre of the Market Place. There then followed designs by Soane who would have been known to Simeon through his work for the Bank of England. Three of Soane's designs survive. Drawing [1] is dated May and June 1804 and was partly drawn by Soane. It was preceded by drawings [2] and [3] - which are not dated but are less developed than [1] which is also close to a small mahogany model (Soane MR 39) and to the built obelisk itself.

Literature. D.Stroud, Sir John Soane architect, 1984, p.267; J.Bold and E.Chaney, English architecturepublic and private, A.Windsor,The Simeon monument in Reading by Sir John Soane, 1993 (p.271-282)



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

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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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Contents of Reading, Berkshire: Design for a market cross or obelisk for Edward Simeon, 1804 (3)