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  • image Image 1 for SM (7) volume 74/16 (8) volume 74/19
  • image Image 2 for SM (7) volume 74/16 (8) volume 74/19
  • image Image 1 for SM (7) volume 74/16 (8) volume 74/19
  • image Image 2 for SM (7) volume 74/16 (8) volume 74/19

Reference number

SM (7) volume 74/16 (8) volume 74/19


Preliminary column-flue design with studies in Soane's hand, one dated 18 March 1792 (2)


7 Longitudinal section looking west, with studies for lunette and lantern glazing 8 Longitudinal section looking east, with studies for vaulting and (verso) unrelated design for ionic entablature and base


(7-8) bar scale of ¼ inch to 1 foot


8 The Bank, Section of a Design for the Bank Stock Office, The beads will hide the jointing of / the Stone soffits & the plaistering / on the Cones, Plaister / flutes very shallow, Portld Stone, Cones (twice), 1 ½ (twice), Co: (twice), Con:, Cone, finishing and (verso) The Bank / Section of the Bank Stock / Office

Signed and dated

  • (7) datable to beginning of 1792 (8) (Soane) March 18 1792

Medium and dimensions

(7) Pen, pencil, pale red ink, sepia and blue washes on wove paper with three fold marks (506 x 620) (8) pen, pencil, sepia and blue washes on wove paper with six fold marks (527 x 647)


Soane office


In drawing 7 Soane's particular interest is in studying various unrealised possibilities for decorating the lights of the lantern and lunettes. He sketches alternative arched and circular decorations for the lunettes, as well as alternative fluted and panelled decoration for the spandrels below. More lightly, in pencil, Soane has sketched in a spiraling motif for the central column-flue and paneling for the soffits. Related pencil sketches are in the margins.
The drawing differs from the other column-flue schemes in drawings 5 and 6 in as much as the stove has only a single fireplace, the central arch is semicircular, and the pilasters have been shortened to the springing of the lower arches. Again, none of these ideas were realised; the drawing shows Soane exploring possibilities of proportion and ornamentation.
The primary significance of drawing 8 is the erased segmental side arch, which is replaced with a sketch of a semi-circular arch on the left (as realised). However, most of the sketches, particularly in the margins, explores the structural jointing and plaster finishing of the central arch. Soane wanted to use a bead moulding to disguise the structural joint between the Portland stone soffits and the hollow-cone voussoirs, as he notes in the inscription. In the finished hall, this bead moulding did not appear (though it did in the later Consols Transfer Office), nor did the serpentine spandrel decoration, fluted pendentives, clerestory fan-light, and small oculus sketched in pencil on the left bay. But the high vertical fluting sketched with sepia wash on the left piers was realised.
The lower arch in the crossing also relates this drawing to the preliminary designs for the upper-room scheme, drawings 9-12. But on the left-hand side of the sheet the arch is erased, suggesting that by this date, 18 March 1792, Soane had abandoned the idea.


(7-8) J. Summerson, 'The evolution of Soane's Bank Stock Office in the Bank of England', The unromantic castle, 1990, pp. 148-153 (7) ill. 131; (8) ill. 132



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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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