17.75 x 33.75 inches.
Samuel and Nathaniel Buck were brothers who were born in Yorkshire, England at around the turn of the 18th century. After spending their formative years in the north, they moved south to the great bustling metropolis that was London, as so many rural people did in those days, seeking their possible fame and fortune. As young men, around 1724, they set out and began an ambitious work to traverse each and every county within England and Wales. They began to engrave and prepare the particular countys antiquities be they free standing or semi ruinous castles, stately homes, or religious and monastic buildings of importance and consequence although many were in an extremely poor state of neglect and abject disrepair after the first King Henry VIII in the 16th century, and then Oliver Cromwell later in the 17th century had their respective religious purges. It was during the preparation of these collections of county antiquities that the Buck brothers struck on the novel idea to also engrave some of the more important cities and towns. So, in my opinion, what resulted was the most wondrous, most influential and most important topographical undertaking that was ever done of England and Wales, not only of the 18th century but also for many years afterward. Prior to Bucks magnificent copper plate panoramas, virtually nothing had been done to depict views of significant English cities and towns. Only a handful were included in the atlas by Braun and Hogenberg in their Civitates Orbis Terrurum published in Cologne in 1581. I honestly feel that there is nothing at all to compare with these exquisite panoramas, in terms of technical skill, engraved detail and sheer scale and size. I also feel that a huge debt of gratitude is owed to these two enterprising and ambitious brothers, who have left us not only with a wonderful and enduring legacy, but also a truly unique glimpse and brief insight into an English way of life that can never be replicated nor indeed pass our way ever again. The Buck copperplate prospect of Swansea published in 1748; shows a delightful Welsh town in all its glory. The River Tawe is alive with boats and ships, and if you look closely there are also some of these ships alongside the parade and the quay. Some look ready for taking on cargo, whilst others are in the dock for repairs. The church and the towns castle are featured prominently, as is the Town Hall. Swansea is engraved as a neat, compact town with many of her citizens strolling along the river side enjoying the scene before them. Some people are seen with hunting dogs and rifles. Further around the bay, we glimpse in the distance the town of Oystermouth, and its ruinous castle, perched high on a hill top. Swansea began as a possible Viking trading post, and it quickly became an established port trading in; wine, wool, cloth and (later) coal.During the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Swansea became a vital centre for commercial copper smelting works, and works for tin, arsenic and zinc. Coal was king however, and contributed enormously to the wealth of the town. There is slight discoloration to the centerfold, and some surface dirt to the plate mark edges.This is a rare and significant opportunity to acquire one of these much sort after panoramas by Englands premier topographical engravers, and is entirely in keeping with Arader Galleries fine and long standing tradition of only offering items of the highest quality for forty years. Description prepared for Arader Galleries by Ian Williams, who has over 20 years experience in maps and prints.