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  • image SM (6) 10/6/9

Reference number

SM (6) 10/6/9


Design for iron safes in the Specie Vault, September 1806


6 Plan; and plan of iron safe


bar scale


The Bank of England, Plan of the Basement Story under the Court & Committee Rooms, (pencil) Iron Safe, calculations and some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • September 1806 (see Notes)


Soane office


The drawing shows the Specie Vaults, located under the Court and Committee Rooms. On 6 September 1806, the Building Committee ordered 22 'iron closets' for the 'Specie vault', to accompany the 2 existing iron closets. The 24 safes are shown in drawing 6, corresponding with the above Building Committee note and thereby confirming the drawing's date and room's purpose. 'Specie' means coin, as in minted pieces of metal (OED), distinguishing the vault's contents as opposed to the other vaults that contained, for example, Bullion, Spanish Dollars, Bank notes and Deposits.



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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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