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. In my opinion, the elegant and skillfully engraved copperplate panorama of the north western city of Chester is one of Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks finest. Published in 1728, Chester can be seen as a delightful Georgian city nestling beside the River Dee, a city of importance and considerable influence as well as affluence. Chester was a northerly, second century Roman outpost, chiefly as a defense against their war like near neighbors; The Welsh. After the Norman Conquest of Britain, one of Williams favorites built a Motte and Baileycastle, which was extensively added to, and strengthened by Henry III in 1245. The city was the scene of a fierce, long drawn out and bloody English Civil War battle around 1645, which eventually saw the Parliamentarians triumphant. Chester has long been a city of graceful buildings. It also has seen many people settle there from the overcrowding of the nearby cities Liverpool and Manchester. In this panorama, we see the extensive city walls, the busy racecourse, the castle, and many prominent churches, especially St.Werburghs, which later became Chester Cathedral. 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. Description prepared for Arader Galleries by Ian Williams.