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  • image SM Vol 61/45

Reference number

SM Vol 61/45


[347] Survey on completion, Court of King's Bench, 30 September 1826


Interior perspective of the main (ground) floor of the Court of King's Bench from the west wall behind the tribunal looking east, with variant treatments for the openings beneath the galleries in the lower walls (annotated later), as executed


to a scale


View of the Court of King's Bench, / from the Tribunal - / 6 pane[ls] / 15 pane[els] / 16 pane[els] / Carpet / Red (x 2)

Signed and dated

  • 30/09/1826
    30th. Sep[tembe]r. 1826.

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, coloured washes including sepia, raw umber and crimson, within ruled border on laid paper (466 x 282) mounted on buff sugar paper bound in volume (533 x 342)


Probably Gandy, Joseph Michael (1771--1843), draughtsman


This view records a variant treatment for additional seating behind the Court’s west and east walls. Both areas on the drawing show signs of erasure and reworking, with suggestions that a series of three arch-headed openings were originally proposed; echoing those at the gallery level above. The north (right-hand) wall is pierced by three evenly-spaced openings, topped by a lintel supported by horizontal consoles beneath and bordered with a three-quarter engaged cable moulding. Alternatively, the south (left-hand) wall is pierced by five openings, with an alternating wide and narrow rhythm. Above these runs a separate projecting cornice supported by vertical consoles; a design echoing the features of the portals in the walls at this point (see SM Vol 61/44). A rough elevation detail of these occurs in the right-hand margin, accompanied by a detail elevation of the gallery’s balustrade, which is shown within the arches in the east and south walls. Behind the variant openings are two additional rows of benches, their fronts projecting via a quadrant curve into the Court.

This drawing may have served as a preliminary study for the more fully realised SM P281. It it also closely related to SM Vol 60/82.


Stroud 1984, pp. 221 - 225, fig. 201; illustrated on p. 223
Wedgwood 1992, p. 37, fig. 14; illustrated on p. 38



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation. This catalogue of Soane’s designs for the New Law Courts was generously funded by The Worshipful Company of Mercers and The Pilgrim Trust.

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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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