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. Norwich, is situated in the East Anglian county of Norfolk. It has had a long and glorious history. It was at one time, the second city of the land, bowing only before London. The city had for many centuries been a regional trading centre, wool being a main export commodity. It was wool that allowed Norwich to prosper, and in turn that prosperity saw any number of fine churches built within the city walls. When we view Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks handsome copperplate engraving of the city in 1741, the churches, and the fine cathedral are all rendered to us in fine detail. The city walls are much in evidence; curiously, for many centuries, the city was forbidden to extend beyond them, which perhaps explains why we see a crowded Georgian scene before our eyes. In the foreground of the panorama, we see laborers, cutting down the harvest, and the foreman issuing instructions on horse back, we see gentlefolk sitting, relaxing and discussing various topics of note, whilst they overlook their fine and noble city. From Roman times, and through all the subsequent ages, Norwich has always been a proud and influential city, and she has played her part in Britains history enthusiastically and admirably. There is slight discoloration to the centerfold, and some evidence of age toning. 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.