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. Maidstone, on the river Medway, looks to be a very orderly, well maintained and neat Georgian town, if Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks copperplate Panorama of 1738 is anything to go by. Along with a fair degree of attractive Kentish countryside all around it, Maidstone, with all its warmth, character and great charm is wonderfully displayed here with a deal of skill and accuracy seldom seen. Towns by rivers have a special feeling and edge to them, and I feel this sumptuous depiction of Maidstone is no exception. Prominent town features like the main streets, the prison, the many town churches, two schools of varying kinds, bridges and meadows are all rendered with tremendous detail and clarity. Featured highlights are; boats on the river, the towns Quay, and the parkland in the immediate foreground, are all rendered with a sense of timeless grace and beauty. There is much evidence to suggest that the Maidstone area has Neolithic roots, with Kits Coty, and numerous dicoveries of ancient stones found nearby.The Romans and the Normans both enlarged earlier town settlements. The Romans used Maidstone as a town to link up their Watling Street road from Rochester to Hastings. A large army presence has been associated with the town since the early years of the nineteenth century, partly, because of a perceived attack to England from France, and her Emperor Napoleon. Somewhat earlier than this, brewing and papermaking were two industries that greatly aided the towns prosperity in the eighteenth century. 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.