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  • image SM volume 74/38

Reference number

SM volume 74/38


Design for the layout of desks and counters, as executed


43 Plan of Desks and Counters


bar scale of 1/3 inch to 1 foot


as above, Bank Stock Office

Signed and dated

  • datable to 1792

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pale red ink, sepia and yellow ochre washes on wove paper with one fold mark (512 x 649)


Soane office


An inner ring demarcates a public area for people coming to register ownership transfers in Bank of England stock and government securities. Between these counters and the desks set against the walls is a working area for tellers and clerks. The idea of running the counters between the piers almost certainly was adapted from the layout of Taylor's existing Transfer Hall.
Gaps in the ring of counters allow access from the south Rotunda and west Four Per Cent Office. The counters and desk were made up of standardized three-foot-wide, wooden units.
The drawing would seem to be contemporary with the plan for the hot-air hypocaust system (see drawing 45), based on their similar drawing style, scale, and depiction of the faces of the piers and responds. Like the drawings for the heating system and tie rods in the vaulting, this drawing reveals Soane's attention to practical matters of construction, climate control, and business fittings.
See also drawing 50 for a re-drawing of this plan for publication in 1796.



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

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).