THE NORTH WEST PROSPECT OF THE CITY OF WELLS by Buck, Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

$ 5,525.00

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. The lovely cathedral city of Wells is situated in the westerly county of Somerset. It was a Roman settlement first and foremost, although it became very important under the Saxons when they founded a church in the beginning of the eighth century. Wells is mentioned in the Norman Domesday book of 1086. A cathedral was built in the twelfth century. During the English Civil War, the Parliamentarian forces in the city used the cathedral to stable their horses, and then used it as firing practice! The Vicars Close, which leads up to the cathedral, is claimed to be Europes oldest residential street. It is complete, and dates from the mid fourteenth century. The famous English cheddar cheese is made locally. Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks handsome and detailed copperplate prospect view of Wells was published in 1736, and is taken from a vantage point some distance from the city. You can see, therefore, that the city is a small one, but is well spread out between the magnificent medieval cathedral and St. Cuthberts Church. The backdrop for this marvelous panorama are the gorgeous south Mendip hills. Besides the cathedral, you can view The Bishops Palace, and the twelfth century Deanery. The Market Cross is just distinguishable, as are the ancient Alms Houses. The foreground sees some cattle and the attendant milk maids, and some travelers on the road.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.

17.75 x 33.75 inches

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