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. Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, in the area of England known as The West Midlands. It is a pretty historic market town that is attractively situated by The River Seven. Very little of note has affected the town over the centuries, and to this day over 600 historic buildings remain within the town. A major factor in this rather large number of old buildings surviving is that Shrewsbury was not bombed by Germany during the second world war. King Henry VIII wished the town to have a cathedral, however the townspeople declined, and this never went ahead. The origins of Shrewsbury go back to around 800 A.D. A Norman influence was seen through a castle being built in 1074, and the foundation of an Abbey in 1083. It is somewhat strange to relate, that Shrewsbury reached its peak in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, as a result of the wool trade. Shrewsbury, being on the River Seven, and close to the old Roman road of Watling Street, could transport the wool to the rest of the country, or to Europe as quickly and efficiently as was required. One famous former resident of the town is Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, who had a specific theory about all life, and species through natural selection. In 1859 he published his controversial book On the Origin of Species.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, who has over 20 years experience in maps and decorative prints.