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. Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks early prospect of Leeds is a magnificent and intricately complex copperplate engraving. The town of Leeds is displayed at its peak and its prime as a regional center of importance and power. A populous town is seen spreading outwards in all directions. Ferries and boatmen are seen on the River Aire; fine churches, and architectural buildings are found in profusion. In the foreground we see orderly housing, complete with neat and tidy gardens, abundant trees, and two sets of people talking and looking at some place of interest in the town. This is Georgian Leeds seen at its very best. Leeds in situated in the West Riding of Yorkshire, and went from a small market town in the fifteenth century to an industrial giant by the mid twentieth century. It was The Industrial Revolution that chiefly brought about this massive shift in Leeds circumstances. Leeds became a major center for the woollen, flax, iron, engineering, and the printing industries. 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.