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Model for the Bank of England, London, Governor's (or Waiting Room) Court, (designed by Sir John Soane), c.1804-5, painted wood

Height: 40cm
Width: 51cm
Depth: 49cm

Museum number: M1366

Curatorial note

This model and models M1481, MP224 and MP226 belong to an area of the Bank that was developed between 1803 and 1804. Their designs evolved almost simultaneously and to some extent affected each other. The Prince’s Street or Doric Vestibule gave access to the loggia of the Governor’s Court and the £5 Note Office. The Governor’s Court occupied the south side of the £5 Note Office.

The Governor’s Court was later known as the Waiting Room Court Yard. The model does not show the design as executed.

Soane appears to have turned to the design of the Governor’s Court in late spring 1803. This is suggested by Folio XII f 14, a plan that features an early version of the loggia to the Governor’s Court and the Doric Vestibule as designed in May 1803. The overall design of the basement was settled early, but significant changes were made to the loggia and the upper elevation of the east, south and west facades. In Folio XII f 32, dated July 25 1803, the west front’s basement is surmounted by a central, open loggia of one floor’s height, with a pair of Ionic columns between outer Doric pilasters. The façade is topped by a shallow pediment, later to be replaced by a balustrade and attic (see Folio XIII f 25). Folio XII f 42 makes it clear that the combination of Doric and Ionic in the Governor’s Court was meant to reflect the same orders used in the interior of the £5 Note Office.

Not until September does the Court evolve to the design shown on the model. Folio XII f 43, dated Sept 5th 1803, has the same giant Corinthian order with panel decoration behind set between Doric pilasters. An attic, added to the drawing on Sep 14th 1803, also resembles that on the model while differing from the executed design.

The earliest drawing to feature a double height loggia (instead of the single storey colonnade first contemplated by Soane) appears to be a sketch plan and section dated Sept 4th 1803. Like the model, only the three central bays of the loggia are open at this stage. In the executed design two further bays, at the extreme east and west ends, were created.


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