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A half ‘cone’ brick used for infilling


Museum number: M610

Curatorial note

Full scale. This is an example of one of the ‘hollow-pot’ bricks or 'cones' used by Soane in the construction of his Bank of England to lighten and fire-proof the vaulting. In addition to their use in various banking halls such as the Bank Stock Office, the Rotunda and the Colonial office, they were used for the apse behind the east colonnade of Lothbury Court. This one was kept as an example by Sir John Soane for his own museum.

Soane drew particular attention in his Royal Academy lectures to the fact that his Bank was constructed of a variety of fireproof materials: stone, brick and terracotta. Above all, no timber was permitted. The cones were made at a kiln on the construction site at Bank.

A number of views of the Bank under construction made for Soane illustrate the use of the 'cones' of which two have been linked to this entry as examples.

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

Associated objects

2/3B/4, depiction
11/6/6, depiction

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