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image E6

Caryatid figure after those supporting the porch of the Erechtheion, on the Acropolis in Athens

Coade stone

Museum number: E6

Curatorial note

The pair of cayatids on the balcony at the top of the projecting 'loggia' on the front of No. 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields (at second floor level) are made of Coade Stone, a form of artificial stone. Soane paid £41 to Coade and Seeley at Lambeth for them in November 1812, the year that he rebuilt 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields. They are modelled on the caryatid figures supporting the roof of the south porch of the Erechtheion or Temple of Pandrosus on the Acropolis in Athens which date from about 415 BC. An original caryatid from the Erechtheion was in Lord Elgin's collection and was acquired by the British Museum in 1816 - it is possible that Coade had access to this as a model. Soane used similar figures in the staircase hall at Buckingham House, Pall Mall (now demolished), at Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing (his country house from 1800-1809) and in the dome of his Rotunda at the Bank of England.

The Erechtheion is visible in the background of James Ward's portrait of Mrs Soane's dog Fanny, which hangs in the Breakfast Room. Soane's Library contains a copy of the Coade Catalogue - however, it does not include the particular version used by Soane which may have been a special order.


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk