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image Image 1 for SM (40) volume 74/10 (41) volume 74/9
image Image 2 for SM (40) volume 74/10 (41) volume 74/9
  • image Image 1 for SM (40) volume 74/10 (41) volume 74/9
  • image Image 2 for SM (40) volume 74/10 (41) volume 74/9

Reference number

SM (40) volume 74/10 (41) volume 74/9


Designs for side-aisle arches, one dated 29 March 1792 (2)


40 Section for side-aisle arch foundation and pedestal, as executed 41 Copy of Elevation and Sections of the Semi Arches Bank Stock Office and (verso, pencil) section for clerestory arches and an unidentified part of an arch, and sketches for hall plan and oval vault or lantern


(40) bar scale of ¼ inch to 1 foot (41) to a scale


(40) The Bank of England, Arch in Foundation of Bank Stock Office, a key A A to Section of Arch & Pier, Floor line, Line of paving and floor and (verso) Section of Stone Arch to the / Foundation of Bank Stock Office (41) as above, The Bank of England, a key A B C to Section through the / opening, Line of the Arch between Soffites, Line of Soffites springing from Pilasters and (verso, pencil) a calculation

Signed and dated

  • (40) datable to March 1792 (on comparison with drawing 41) (41) Copy 29th March 1792

Medium and dimensions

(40) Pen, pencil, pale red ink, sepia, pale blue and yellow ochre washes on wove paper with three fold marks (500 x 650) (41) pen, pencil, pale red ink and sepia wash on wove paper with three fold marks (505 x 670)


Soane office


The large scale and simple washes of drawing 40 communicate the dimensions and structure of one of the four identical arches in the cellar's side-aisles, supporting the side-aisle arches in the hall above (for cellar plan see drawing 25). The red wash indicates the brick spandrels and the yellow wash indicates the hall's floor beams.
Light pencil sketches of alternative arch shapes on drawing 40 demonstrates Soane's persistent experimentation with segmental versus semi-circular arching, probably both for reasons of structure and aesthetics.
Drawing 41 shows, on the left, the elevation and partial structure of one of the hall's four end-bay arches and, on the right, the structure of one of the four side-aisle arches. The general form of the arches is shown as executed. However, the final facing of the end-bay arch is not drawn, indicating that this sheet may have been completed before the ornamentation was set. These arches are also shown in drawings 18 and 22. The date of the drawing, 29 March 1792, suggests that the structure of the hall was set by this time.



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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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