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image SM 53/2/58

Reference number

SM 53/2/58


[239] Final design, with preliminary detail design, Vice Chancellor's Court, 12 March 1823


Plan of the main floor of the Vice Chancellor's Court, including ceiling and lantern, the latter shown with a variant half plan, with corresponding section through the interior, looking west, with rough plan of the upper cornice and detail of mouldings, almost as executed


bar scale of 3/8 inch to 1 foot


Design for the Vice-Chancellor's Court: / Scale of Feet / Buttress. / A / 15 Ap[ri]l. 1823 dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 12/03/1823
    12th: March 1823

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, wash, pink wash, pen, pink pen, pricked for transfer on wove paper (543 x 752)


Sir John Soane (1753 - 1837), architect
This drawing has been annotated in Soane's hand.
George Bailey (1792 - 1860), draughtsman
The Day Book entry for 12 March 1823 notes that George Bailey was About Plans &c. of the New Courts at Westminster.


The plan shows variant proposals for the lantern; one being circular, the alternative square, though this variation is not shown in the section. The detail sketch of a moulding profile (dated 15 April 1823) is in Soane's hand. It features the profile and elevation of a chracteristic series of angle bead and torus mouldings, with a central twisted stem, set on a segmental convex. This detail is sketched three times at increasing scales. It appears to relate to the headstops and hood moulds sketched on the elevation, over the upper arches. Between these and the lower arches is sketched a console frieze topped with antefixes; perhaps the first trial of this motif. There is a faint sketch plan of this feature in the adjacent left margin.


Sawyer, 1999: p 537, footnote 1587



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.

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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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