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image SM (39) 1/6/26

Reference number

SM (39) 1/6/26


Preliminary design for the attic over a portico on a segmental plan, 10 December 1804


39 Half-plan of the attic; elevation of the attic pedestal over the paired columns; front half-elevation of the attic; details of cornice; rough (pencil) half-elevation of a pediment; (verso) details and rough (feint pencil) elevation of an entablature


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The Bank of England, Sketch of a Design for part of the Attic / at North West Corner, dimensions given and calculations; (verso, feint pencil) some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • LIF / Decr 10: 1804






After realizing the design for a four-columned portico on a segmental plan, between twin columns set at oblique angles to the main face, Soane set about designing the attic. The temple of Vesta at Tivoli does not have an attic intact, leaving Soane to his own devices for the design of the Bank's north-west corner. The design for the projecting paired columns at the ends of the portico are shown in drawing 39 in their final form, wtih panelled pilasters supporting a scrolled acroterion enclosing rosettes. The tympanum would later include a scallop shell ornament. The design for the attic's main face, however, is still in development. In the half-elevation on drawing 39 it is consists of a pedestal with three windows supporting a wall of ornamented panels joined by small pedestals each capped by an antefix and urn. The rough half-elevation of a pediment suggests the final design for the attic.



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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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