THE NORTH PROSPECT OF GRAVESEND, IN THE COUNTY OF KENT Buck, Samuel and Nathaniel

$ 5,525.00

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 countys 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 Bucks 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. For a town with such an unusual name, the 1739 Buck copperplate prospect of Gravesend in Kent is a very lovely one indeed. Some locals believe that the town got its name from the time of the earliest plague to hit London. Numerous dead bodies from the capital would be brought to the town, and buried there, in an attempt to put an end to the plague  hence the name Graves-end? The town on the river Thames is mentioned in the eleventh century Doomsday book, and is situated on the old Roman road, known as Watling Street. Gravesend can boast one of Englands oldest markets, dating back to 1268. The town was also one of the main stages for horse drawn stagecoaches between London and Canterbury, and other prominent towns in Kent, where horses and teams would be changed, ready for the next stage of the journey. Within the panorama, you can see a lovely small town in the distance, displaying its handsome church, and other assorted fine buildings and places of note. In the foreground, Tilbury Fort is easily identified, as are a number of boats at anchor in the river. This is a rare and significant opportunity to acquire one of these much sort after panoramas by Englands 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.