- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Drawing 65 represents a more polished version of the plan on drawing 64, with the north end clearly articulated with round, top-lit, corner offices for the chief clerks (as labelled and inscribed). In the centre of the north end, a labelled fireplace faces onto and heats the public centre-aisle, ringed by counters running between the piers. The fireplace flue rises up and is brought back into the hall's north wall, as labelled on the plan, creating a clear passage between the private corner offices. The plan also shows shows the Bank Stock Office's relation to the east wing's vestibule, Rotunda, and the adjoining Four Per Cent Office.
The studies on drawing 66 correlate with drawings 64-65. The lower top-lit north end containing a fireplace with its flue running to the back wall is shown at the left of the longitudinal section. The two longitudinal sections at the top of the drawing show alternatives for vaulting and ornamenting the side arches. The more finished version on the left shows semicircular arches with a decorated archivolt. On the right, an alternative shows lower segmental arches flanked by thinly decorated pilasters running through the level of the clerestory, giving the elevation a more pronounced, continuous verticality.
In the transverse section, the flat-topped pitched roof is supported by stepped buttressing (as in drawing 64) and the window at the north end is a fan-light similar to the side lunettes (instead of the thermal window in drawing 64). A plan shows cross-vaulting over the centre-aisle.
Although drawing 65 is drawn freehand (and hence described as 'rough') the plan is to scale. Similarly drawing 66 is drawn freehand but with the aid of a compass for the semicircular arches and so is not described as 'rough'.
The inscriptions in Soane's hand on drawings 64 and 66, indicate that Soane received these sheets in Barnet, north of London, on Sunday, 11 December 1791, during the five-day period from 8 to 12 December the Day Book records his absence from home.
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).