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  • image Image 1 for SM (2) volume 60/7 (3) volume 74/18
  • image Image 2 for SM (2) volume 60/7 (3) volume 74/18
  • image Image 1 for SM (2) volume 60/7 (3) volume 74/18
  • image Image 2 for SM (2) volume 60/7 (3) volume 74/18

Reference number

SM (2) volume 60/7 (3) volume 74/18


Study for proposed triple-lantern design (2)


2 Perspective 3 Longitudinal section looking west


(2) to a scale (3) bar scale of ¼ inch to 1 foot


2 The Bank of England, Sketch of a Design for the Bank Stock Office 3 dimensions given (verso) Section of Bank Stock Office

Signed and dated

  • (2) 5 December 1791 (3) datable to December 1791 to January 1792

Medium and dimensions

(2) Pen, pencil and sepia and blue washes, within double-ruled sepia wash border on laid paper (287 x 468) (3) pen, pencil and sepia wash, partly pricked for transfer on laid paper with three fold marks (516 x 632)


(2) Thomas Chawner (1774-1851, pupil 1788-94) (Day Book, 5 December 1791) (3) attributed to Thomas Chawner or Frederick Meyer, with additions by Soane


(2) fleur-de-lis above cartouche with bar and below, W


Drawing 2 is a study for the perspective presented to the Bank of England's directors on 6 December 1791, and was almost certainly done on 5 December when the Day Book records Thomas Chawner drawing a perspective view of the Bank Stock Office. The border suggests its function as a presentation drawing. The fact that this is a study is indicated by the pencil additions. The drawing also omits details for the decorations on the stove, column-flue, and spandrels that are shown in the finished drawing.
The perspective is taken from within the hall's south end-bay and features prominently the oval lantern above this bay, obscuring the larger circular lantern in the hall's centre.
Drawing 3 features the three lanterns. The sketches on the left hand side of the longitudinal section are in Soane's hand, and were probably first drawn in late November or early December 1791 by Chawner or Meyer (Day Book). They record the key decision to abandon the triple-lantern scheme and instead to vault over the end-bays and presumably use clerestory lighting, as preliminarily designed in drawing 5, dated 21 January 1792 and eventually realised in the built hall. Additional sketches also show preliminary ideas for a segmental arch in the end-bays (realised in semicircular form) and a Vitruvian-scroll fascia along the wall (repeated in later preliminary drawing 5, but not realised).
The Day Book in Soane's office shows intensive efforts from 17 November to 6 December 1791 by Thomas Chawner and Frederick Meyer to draw surveys, plans, sections, and perspectives. Versions of the proposed design were presented to the Bank of England's directors on 24 November and 6 December 1791.


(3) J. Summerson, 'The evolution of Soane's Bank Stock Office in the Bank of England', The unromantic castle, 1990, p. 148, ill. 126



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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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