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image M1098

Model for a clock case, (designed by Sir John Soane)

Mahogany

Height: 95cm
Width: 70.5cm
Depth: 47cm

Museum number: M1098

Curatorial note

English, unknown maker, designed by John Soane, c. 1788-1833, mahogany, with fluted pilasters and a fluted shallow dome with stylised leaves in the spandrels and laurel wreaths and ribbons on the sides.

For many years this was thought to be a preliminary model for the Soane Tomb in the burying ground of St. Giles-in-the-Fields (now St Pancras Gardens), designed by Soane for his wife following her death in November 1815. However, its resemblance to the tomb is superficial and in both proportion and decoration it differs from it. Nor does it fit easily into any of the design phases of the tomb represented by the drawings surviving in the Museum. An analysis of the numbering sequences in the earliest inventories of the Museum has identified this model in the arrangement of objects on the north side of the Crypt, where it is shown in a watercolour of by C J Richardson c.1834 as ‘1098 Clock case for the Bank of England;’ ie a model for a case which must have been designed by Soane at some time during the 45 years that he was Architect to the Bank (1788-1833). No references to this very large clock have so far been discovered amongst the Soane papers or those at the Bank of England. The general form of the model is very similar to that of the cases designed by Soane for the clocks by Vulliamy and Thwaites and Reed for his own house (XF146 and XF236): Vulliamy worked with Soane on the provision of clocks for the Bank of England. A bill of 1834 from the firm of Martyr may refer to this model or to the Vulliamy clock in the Breakfast Room (XF146). Another model, hitherto unidentified, appears to relate to this one (M1237).

Literature

J. Wilton-Ely, 'The Architectural Models of Sir John Soane: A Catalogue', Architectural History, Vol. 12 (1969), pp. 5-101, no. 114 p. 38.


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