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 area around Cardiff in Wales has been inhabited for around 6,000 years. So it was truly an ancient dwelling when Samuel and Nathaniel Buck made this splendid copperplate engraving of it in 1748. The capital city derives it name from the Welsh for Fort on a River. This panorama shows a small town dominated by 2 features; the castle and the church. Cardiff castle was begun in earnest in 1091, within the walls of a pre-existing Roman Fort. Cardiff was also a centre for commercial trade, and had by the mid fourteenth century established itself as a port of some substance. About 50 years after this engraving was published, the 2nd Marquis of Bute spent a lot of his life, and a sizable chunk of his considerable wealth building up Cardiff Docks. This simple, but elegant panorama of Cardiff shows a peaceful provincial town of no more than perhaps a few thousand inhabitants, who lived in this happy, secluded, attractive region of the principality of Wales. The condition of the panorama is excellent. There is slight discoloration at the centerfold, and there is a small worm hole out to right of the engraving, within the river section. 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. Description prepared for Arader Galleries by Ian Williams.