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Reference number

SM (1) volume 68/26 (2) volume 68/27 (3) volume 68/28


Variant designs (3)


1 Encircled elevation of a screen with four Ionic columns and an alcove with a sculptured figure (Naiad with a pitcher and swan ?) on a pedestal. The entablature supports the royal arms flanked by cornucopia. The frieze inscribed Grand Junction Canal Company, architrave inscribed Aeque Pauperious Prodest locupletius , four recessed tablets bear the words: Liberality, Agriculture, Commerce and Justice, the plinth is inscribed: This Chosen Infant ------- Upon this Land, a thousand blessings / Though in the Cradle yet new promises which time shall bring to ripeness / MDCCXCXIII 2 as drawing 1 except that the screen is pedimented and without cornucopia. The Latin inscription on the architrave is now on the plinth. The inscription This Chosen Infant .... as drawing 1 but placed on a broad pedestal below the sculptured figure. The recessed tablets have the same wording as drawing 1 but are placed lower down so that there is space above for a swag; there are now steps 3 as drawing 2 except that the Latin inscription is on the entablature (as with drawing 1), the recessed tablets are as drawing 1. New is the rusticated lower one-third of the screen and the date is placed on a plinth between steps Normal.dotm 0 0 1 177 1011 jill lever architectural historian 8 2 1241 12.0 0 false 18 pt 18 pt 0 0 false false false


1 as above 2 as above 3 as above and (Soane) Agriculture / Liberality / Commerce / Justice, The Latin inscription to be put upon the Plinth in the room of the date / The date to be engraved on the die of the Piedestal.

Signed and dated

  • 1-3 John Soane Archt and Great Scotland Yard August 1793

Medium and dimensions

1-3 Pen, sepia wash, pencil with triple-ruled pen and black wash border on laid paper (219 x 264, 219 x 265, 218 x 266)


1-3 Soane




The Grand Junction Canal was London's principal link with the rest of England's canal system. Construction began in 1793 and the chairman of the Company was William Praed for whom Soane was at that time designing Tyringham, 1792-1801 (q.v.). Soane's variant designs for a seal or badge are architectural and perhaps there was an idea that the screen with its sculpture and inscriptions would actually be built. The site may have been the Paddington Arm of the Grand Junction Canal, opened in 1801, and 'terminating in a 400 yard long basin, 30 yards wide, around which were wharves, a hay and straw market, sheds for warehousing, and pens for livestock'. The basin (Paddington Basin) was drained in 2000 and it now the site for high rise mixed-use development. It seems unlikely that the badge/seal/medallion was struck.
(Information from www.canalmuseum.org.uk/history/grandjun.htm)

Jill Lever, November 2012



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).