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

$ 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. Sheerness is the largest town on the Isle of Sheppey, which lies in the county of Kent. It is on the River Medway and King Henry VIII ordered a fort to be built there, to stop attacks further up the Medway to the dockyards at Chatham, and possibly then on to London. Work began on strengthening this fort, in order for it to become a dockyard, however during the early construction phase in 1667, the Dutch attacked and destroyed it. The famous London diarist Samuel Pepys, who was then Secretary to the Admiralty, ordered it to be rebuilt. During the 1820s a great fire destroyed many buildings in the dockyard. Towards the close of the nineteenth century, Sheerness became a popular holiday resort for nearby Londoners, and holiday makers from nearby counties. This came about in part because The Isle of Sheppey has low rainfall, and reasonable amounts of sunshine most years. Samuel and Nathaniel Buck published this panorama in 1739, when we can see Pepys newly rebuilt dockyard. Storehouses and landing places are shown, along with the end of Sheppey Island, and the nearby town of Minster in the distance. The River Medway is looking choppy and we view some row boats making a gallant effort to reach their ships, anchored some way off on the river. The sun is seen spectacularly setting on the horizon. There is slight discoloration to the centerfold .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.