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. There is evidence to suggest a settlement around the area of Peterborough pre dates the Bronze Age. As a result, centuries later, the Romans occupied the city, while later still, the Anglo Saxons established a monastery there, which over time became the citys lovely cathedral. Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks copperplate panorama of 1731, beautifully illustrates the city beside the River Nine (Nene), with its magnificent and imposing medieval cathedral completely dominating the city. The evidence for this is seen by the lack of settlement seen much beyond the confines of the cathedral. Only a couple of churches break the skyline. During the Civil War, in the seventeenth century, the city was equally divided between Roundheads and Cavaliers - those for the Parliament, or those for the King. In the mid nineteenth century, the railways came to Peterborough, as it lay strategically between two important cities - London and York. This transformed the hitherto small, quiet city into an industrial centre. Brick making became a huge industry for the city, as it had significant local clay deposits. There is slight discoloration to the centerfold, and some surface dirt on the plate. 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.