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image Image 1 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
image Image 2 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
image Image 3 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
image Image 4 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
image Image 5 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
image Image 6 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
  • image Image 1 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
  • image Image 2 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
  • image Image 3 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
  • image Image 4 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
  • image Image 5 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4
  • image Image 6 for SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4

Reference number

SM (37) 51/6/1 (38) 51/5/2 (39) 51/5/3 (40) 51/5/1 (41) 51/5/6 (42) 51/5/4

Purpose

Survey drawings related to enlargement of the new library and unexecuted design, 10 May, 1830 (6)

Aspect

37 No 1, general plan including plan of library 38 No 2, Longitudinal Section 39 No 3, Latitudinal Section 40 No 1, plan of library showing part of floor to be removed 41 Section of gallery and detail of beam 42 Two interior perspectives of library with alternative designs

Scale

(37) bar scale equivalent of 3½ inches to 100 feet (38-40) bar scale of 1¼ inches to 10 feet (41) to a scale

Inscribed

37 as above, (Soane) 1 Floor of Library is 3ft 4 / below the floor of the / House of Commons // 2 Floor of Library is / 4 feet above the floor to / the long Gallery // 3 Floor of the Library is / about 5 feet above the / floor of the Painted Chamber; (office hand) labelled: Part of / Westminster / Hall, The House of Lords, His Majesty's / Robing / Room, Lobby / A, Steps down, The Long Gallery / floor 6.7½" below Lobby A, Vote / office, The House of Commons, 9½" above / Lobby, Engrossing / Office, The Painted Chamber, The King's Gallery, Clerk of the Fees, Mr Ley's House, The New Library / 55:6 by 23.3, The Speakers / Garden, New Committee Rooms &c House of Lords and The River Thames 38 as above, New Committee Rooms Library &c / House of Commons, (Soane) Floor of Library, (office hand) labelled: Long Gallery (twice), Library, Committee Room No 18, Committee Room No 19, Committee Room No 20, Committee Room No 21 and some dimensions given 39 (Soane) Floor of Library 3:4 below the floor of / the House of Commons & four / feet above the floor of the / Long Gallery; (office hand) labelled: New Committee Rooms Library &c / House of Commons, Mr Ley's House, Committee Room No 21, Committee Room No 20 and some dimensions given 40 as above, Part of the Painted Chamber, Part of the Long Galley, Water / Closet, Staircase, Part of Mr Ley's House and some dimensions given 41 House of Commons / Design for the Enlargement of the New Library 42 House of Commons / The Library shewing the proposed alterations / No 2 and House of Commons / The Library shewing the proposed Alterations / No 3 / In this design the Gallery / is supported without Columns / as shewn in the Designs No 1 & 2

Signed and dated

  • (37-39) (Soane) L.I. 10 May 1830 (Soane office) (39) May 1830 (Soane) (40) Lincolns Inn Fields / 17 May 1830 (Soane office) (41) 1830 (Soane) (42)Lincolns Inn Fields / 17th May 1830

Medium and dimensions

(37) Pen, sepia, pink and blue washes, pricked for transfer, with double ruled border on laid paper (465 x 293) (38) pen, pink, blue and sepia washes with double ruled border on laid paper (290 x 464) (39) pen, pink, blue and sepia washes with double ruled border (290 x 464) (40) pen, sepia, blue, yellow and pink washes, pricked for transfer on laid paper (472 x 288) (41) pen, pink, yellow and sepia washes, hatching on laid paper (299 x 348) (42) pen, sepia wash on laid paper (274 x 470)

Hand

Soane office, some inscriptions by Soane (40, 42) Day Book gives C.J. Richardson, that is, Charles James Richardson (1809-1872, pupil, assistant 1824-1837) (37-39, 41) attributed to C.J. Richardson

Watermark

(37) Fleur-de-lis above cartouche with bar and below, ornate WW (38-40) W Weatherley 1829

Notes

Drawing 40 shows a new spiral stair giving internal access to the floor above the library. This was to have an opening in the form of a 30 x 14 stretched oval with (drawing 41) a railing. To save space the floors of the upper room were to be supported by bracketed beams that (drawing 41) usefully incorporate two rows of book shelves.
The interior views (drawing 42) show further alternative designs, both with rectangular galleries, one supported by cast iron columns and the other by beams amd cross beams. The library having lost its vaulted ceiling another is proposed for the floor above.
None of this was carried out as the following letter explains. 'The Library designed by Soane and finished in 1827 soon proved to be too small. In 1830 a Select Committee [on the present State of the Library of The House of Commons] recommended that two committee rooms on the floor above it should be taken into the space of the library; it was proposed that the ceiling be removed and a gallery built. However these suggestions were not put into effect and in 1832 another Select Committee reported that the plan of 1830 would give no extra room for readers, which was the chief necessity. The two committee rooms above the Library were taken over by the Library as they stood, and this enlargement was stated by a Select Committee of 1833 to have been succesful.... It would seem, therefore, that the plans prepared by Soane were not used at all' (letter from S. Gordon, Librarian, House of Commons to Dorothy Stroud of the Soane Museum, 2 July 1956).
Three interior perspectives of the House of Commons library, related to the 1830 unexecuted designs, are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, for catalogue entries see P.du Prey, Sir John Soane, 1985, cat: 421-423.

Level

Drawing

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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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