Coal Exchange


Royal Institute of British Architects.

Institutional Internal Reference Code:



Design model for the Coal Exchange, City, London, by James Bunstone Bunning.

Date of creation:

c. 1847

Extent and basic medium:

1 model

Name of creator(s):

Bunning, W.B.

Administrative / contextual / biographical history:

The model shows two elevations only, the street elevations to Lower Thames Street & to St Mary-at-Hill. In execution, these elevations were of six bays and not of five as shown on the model – evidence, perhaps, that this is a design model, i.e., made before the building and not afterwards. The Coal Exchange was built in 1847-1849, and demolished in 1962 – an event. described by Pevsner as an ‘unnecessary tragedy’. Some of the ironwork is now in the V&A. The model is executed in carved and painted plaster, and has its original glass case. Model comes with printed explanation.

Provenance / archival ownership history:

Purchased at auction, Phillip’s, 6 Feb 1985, lot 47A.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Purchased at auction.

Conditions governing access:

On display in Architecture Gallery, V&A. Part of permanent display.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright RIBA Collections.

Materials, physical characteristics and technical requirements:

Wood, plaster, paint & glass. H.330 x W.385 x D.380mm. Dimensions in case H.412 x W.518 x D.525mm.

Finding aids available:

RIBA Library catalogue –

Bibliographic note:

H.R. Hitchcock, ‘Early Victorian architecture in Britain’, 1954, pp 320-324 & passim; H. Hobhouse, ‘Lost London’, 1971, pp. 178-181.

Cataloguing rules or conventions followed:


Exhibition / display history:

On continuous display in the Architecture Gallery, V&A since November 2004.

Subjects (Getty Art & Arch Thesaurus):

Models & model-making; architectural; Exchanges; Great Britain; England; London; City; Coal Exchange


City of London, London, UK.


James Bunstone Bunning (1802-1863)