Sir John Soane’s Bedroom

Watercolour sketch of Soane's Bedroom

Watercolour of Soane's Bedroom as it appeared in 1825

 

The main feature of this room was Sir John Soane’s four-poster bed which, following the room’s redecoration in 1830, was placed against the west wall.  According to bills of 1830, the mahogany tester was covered with ‘drab fawn colour super moreen [a type of wool] bound with silk ornamental lace, with full drapery valens fringed with twine fringe’.  Shortly after Soane’s death in 1837, this bed was removed and then sold in order to convert this room into the Curator’s living room.  It is one of the very few items of furniture that will have to be recreated in replica form.

However, the chest of drawers and the dressing-table mirror, as well as an impressive chiming clock designed by Soane in c.1816 and currently on display in the South Drawing Room, will be returned to this room. 

The windows and the door leading from the Bedroom to the Book Passage had matching curtains, and the walls were covered in matching wallpaper [it appears that the walls had been hung with this same pattern previous to the 1830 redecoration].  The restoration work will see the window apertures reconfigured to their original state and the wallpaper recreated on the basis of the surviving sections uncovered in what was formerly Soane’s bathroom.

 

Examples of items of furniture that are being conserved and made ready to go back to their original positions in Soane's Bedroom. From left to right: a mahogany dressing table with turned, tapered legs and a swing looking glass, English c.1810; a quarter-chiming table clock made by Thwaites and Reed of London, c.1820, with a domed case designed by Soane in 1816 and a mahogany bow-fronted chest of drawers with three drawers of varying depths and a pull-out ‘brushing shelf’, English, c.1790-1800.  The same chest of drawers can be seen at the centre of the above watercolour of the Bedroom from 1825.