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You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  This spandrel ornament depicts a cherub seated on what Soane called a 'raffle leaf' - a stylised acanthus leaf - holding an inverted torch. The inverted torch symbolizes death but the burning flame (which normally would be extinguished when the torch was turned upside-down) symbolizes the flame of eternal life and the Christian belief in resurrection. In 1817 Soane as asked by the Directors of the Bank of England to submit designs and estimates for a new National Debt Redemption Office in Old Jewry in the City of London. The Commissioners moved there in 1820. They wished to place a statue of William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806) in the new offices but no room could be found for it and Soane therefore prepared designs for an enlargement of the building to serve as the Pitt Cenotaph, which was completed in 1823
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image MP7

This spandrel ornament depicts a cherub seated on what Soane called a 'raffle leaf' - a stylised acanthus leaf - holding an inverted torch. The inverted torch symbolizes death but the burning flame (which normally would be extinguished when the torch was turned upside-down) symbolizes the flame of eternal life and the Christian belief in resurrection. In 1817 Soane as asked by the Directors of the Bank of England to submit designs and estimates for a new National Debt Redemption Office in Old Jewry in the City of London. The Commissioners moved there in 1820. They wished to place a statue of William Pitt the Younger (1759-1806) in the new offices but no room could be found for it and Soane therefore prepared designs for an enlargement of the building to serve as the Pitt Cenotaph, which was completed in 1823

Museum number: MP7

Curatorial note

Full Scale. Plaster. MP7, MP8, M308 and M311 represent the motif designed for the four spandrils of the tribune, as built in 1819. It consists or a putto or Winged Genius with a reversed torch seated among foliage.

Associated objects

MP8, another identical
M308, another identical
M311, another identical


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