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 city of Rochester is pleasantly situated on the River Medway, in the English county of Kent. Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks appealing copperplate panorama, published in 1738, shows this in great detail. On the river many fine ships are seen at anchor off the city. The ancient bridge, first built by the Romans in the first century, is clearly seen, as it links the city with nearby town of Stroud. The city castle, built originally to guard the river crossing, stands proudly alongside the cathedral church. The castle was begun about the year 1087. The history of the cathedral began in the early seventh century, but numerous sackings by the Danes mostly throughout the ninth century, saw a more modern and substantial structure built by the Normans in 1180. It took until 1130 to complete. Rochester cathedral is one of Englands smaller cathedrals. Rochester city will always be remembered with the famous Victorian novelist; Charles Dickens. He lived nearby at Gads Hill Place. Not surprisingly, Dickens used descriptions of the city in some of his novels, The Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations. Rochester celebrates this famous resident each year with two festivals, one held in the summer, and the other at Christmas. The city at the time of this panorama, clings tightly to the cathedral and the castle, with only a little urban development seen snaking its way further along the river in either direction. This is an important panorama of a city is of immense geographical and strategic importance, as it lies at the confluence of the rivers Thames and Medway. 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.