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. Just a few centuries prior to Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks engraving and the publishing of this exquisite copperplate view of the City of Norwich in 1741, this amazing city had been second to London only in terms of size and importance. From the earliest of times, Norwich had always been a tremendous center for East Anglian trade and commerce. The Romans had it as their regional capital. A cathedral was begun in 1096. The city became immensely rich and powerful during the fourteenth century on the back of the sheep. Wool was the trade that propelled, and fired Norwich city finances. The prosperity of the city can be evidenced by the sheer number of churches it has within it. In fact, it is alleged, that in Western Europe (north of the Alps), Norwich has more medieval churches than anywhere else. As was common throughout the region, Norwich declared itself a Parliamentarian city during the Civil War. This Buck panorama is so detailed and specific, that it lists no fewer than fifty separate places of interest or importance relating to the city. We see a city that has expanded and grown rich since its earlier and more humble beginnings. There appears to be a pleasing balance between urban dwelling, and the need for open spaces, and greenery. Not surprisingly, most distinguishable from our fine view of the city from a hilltop, is the abundance of churches, some 30 odd in total. The city castle sits comfortably on a mound. The river below teems with activity, with swans, ferries, and boats of all descriptions to be found upon it. This is an outstanding panorama of a truly great and influential English city. 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.