THE SOUTH WEST PROSPECT OF THE CITY OF LICHFIELD Buck, Samuel and Nathaniel

$ 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. In 1732, Samuel and Nathaniel Buck published their fine copperplate panorama of the city of Lichfield, in the midland county of Staffordshire. Dr Samuel Johnson, who produced the first authoritative dictionary of the English language, was born in the city. The city has always had a cathedral for a very long time. The first was built by a Mercian King in the 700, however, over the centuries it has been severely damaged, and had to be re-built (in part) on several occasions. Lichfield was devastated in 1593, when an outbreak of plague, killed almost a third of its population. The last ever person to be burnt at the stake for heresy, was done so in Lithfield in 1612. The city enjoyed a brief period of prosperity and fulfillment, when it became a prominent stopping off for coaches plying their trade from London to Chester. Unfortunately, the coming railway revolution saw this commercial activity die out. Bucks panorama, shows us a delightful, smallish English city (so called because it has a cathedral) that fits neatly into its surroundings. Many nearby villages are pointed out and the hills and Peak District of Derbyshire are shown. The cathedral is clearly seen, as are all the towns numerous churches, and buildings of note. Horses play and frolic, along with grazing sheep in the foreground. A shepherd rests his weary bones gratefully against an old tree stump. Most interestingly, a parson is seen to be looking at a book, held for him by a young boy, and pointing to some item of interest in the distance- a handsome prospect of the city perhaps? This is a 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.