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 handsome copperplate panorama of Ripon in North Yorkshire by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck was published in 1745. It shows what a delightful city Ripon had become at the time of engraving. We look upon a truly tranquil, and relaxing scene, where people are seen sitting contentedly, or standing, talking with one another. Some folk are simply seen going about their respective business. Cattle are seen further towards the river grazing or lying down, chewing their cud. Ripon is viewed ideally located on the River Skell, surrounded by glorious trees and open fields. As one would expect, the Minster (cathedral) is given prime pictorial prominence. Ripon Minster, as is depicted here, was in fact the fourth religious building to be housed on that particular site. There had been two Anglo Saxon churches built there previously, and an earlier minster that William I destroyed as part of his Harrying of the North in the winter of 1069-70, in order to subjugate the north to his Norman rule. The minster that we see was constructed over almost four centuries. Interestingly, there were plans in the sixteenth century to make Ripon a seat of learning, good enough to rival that of both Oxford and Cambridge. Despite having the approval of Lord Burleigh, the powerful, and hugely influential advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, the Queen was inclined to decline. A little known fact is that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Ripon became famous for making spurs. Spurs, at that time were not only essential pieces of riding apparatus, but were worn as fashionable items in their own right.This is a truly 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.