THE SOUTH EAST PROSPECT OF ST.MICHAEL'S MOUNT IN CORNWALL. Buck, Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

$ 5,525.00

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 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. This wonderful 1739 copperplate engraving by the brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Buck is unusual, in as much as it primarily depicts a granite rock, rather than a city or a town. St.Michaels Mount is a tidal island in Cornwall, the most westerly county in England. It is the Cornish equivalent to the French Mont Saint Michel in Normandy. Monastic buildings began to be built in the eighth century, but in the eleventh century, aided by an indulgence by Pope Gregory, more monastic buildings were built on the island, and they became increasingly popular as a resort for pilgrims. In 1425, for some reason, all this was stopped and suppressed. A point of interest is that St.Michaels Mount has its own underground railway, which is used to haul good up from the harbor to the castle. Previously, this had been performed by pack horses. Many Cornish villages are glimpsed in the distance, as well as boats and assorted craft in the foreground. There is a brief dedication, and the family crest of the St.Aubin family (who still own the castle) underneath the panorama.This is a truly 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.