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image M1287

Model for the Bank of England, London, Residence Courtyard, design for principal windows, designed by Sir John Soane, c.1797

Painted wood

Height: 52cm
Width: 35cm
Depth: 7.5cm

Museum number: M1287

Curatorial note

Soane’s drawings suggest that the Residence Court was not regarded originally as a distinct entity, and that it was first considered to be part of the Lothbury Court. The window design shown in this model does not feature on the earlier drawings for this section of the Bank, such as 10/3/58 dated April 25th 1797. Soane’s first dated proposals for windows of this type appear some three weeks later (10/3/51 of May 9th 1797). At this stage however the design is enlivened by ornament, with wreath and ribbons on the segmental pediment and a panel of foliate scrolls to the sill. The same design is seen on 10/4/27, dated simply 1797. Another version of the window is found on 10/4/22 (1797), a plainer design with a course of dentils added to the entablature. The austere executed version – the one illustrated by the model – had been arrived at by Octr 9th 1797 as can be seen from 10/3/22.

It is possible that this model was one of those mentioned in Soane’s Notebook entry for September 19th 1797: ‘At the Bank, Presented 2 plans & two small Models for the Improvements, Adopted by the Com: of Treasy & to be recommended to Genl Court of Directors’.

Exhibition history

John Soane Architect: Master of Space and Light, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 11 September - 3 December 1999; Centro Palladio, Vicenza, April - August 2000; Hôtel de Rohan, Paris, January - April 2001; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, 16 May - 3 September 2001; Real Academia des Bellas Artes, Madrid, October - December 2001


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