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 copperplate panorama of Manchester, published in 1728, depicts an attractive, small, orderly town, neatly and tidily arranged. People are viewed rowing on the River Irwell in the foreground. From the other side of the river, we see townsfolk walking along the inviting open spaces that have yet to be developed. As is usual, in these panoramas, the towns churches are prominent, and in the distance, the surrounding hills and moorlands are in full view. There is evidence to suggest that there was Bronze Age activity in the area that became Manchester. The Romans established a fort in Manchester, mainly as a continued presence, and to provide protection along their road from Chester to York late in the first century. Flemish weavers come to the town in the fourteenth century to produce wollen and linen products. This was the towns first introduction to a trade that in centuries to come, would provide enormous wealth and prosperity for it and its inhabitants. Manchester sits in North West England, alongside the River Irwell. It was only a small market town up until the late eighteenth century when, the Industrial Revolution came along and swept it off its feet. It was the importation of cotton from Liverpool, via the newly opened navigational canal system, that began to fuel the textile revolution that changed Manchesters fortunes for ever. The town became a national, and then an international distribution center. 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.