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. When you look at Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks delightful 1731 copperplate panorama of the city of Oxford, you see a vibrant, strong, and forceful panorama before you. In the foreground there are large tracts of open space, and parkland, where people may ride, and cattle graze unhurriedly. Interspersed between the famous colleges, you see the houses of the ordinary townsfolk. The sweep of the panorama if taken from left to right, brings you to find St. Giles Church, Osney Abbey, from where Tom Bell was removed in the middle of the sixteenth century, Worcester College, the ancient Castle Hill, the ruined castle itself, and Magdalen Church. If you keep moving to the right, you come across the college buildings of Trinity, Wadham and Exeter. Next is the Oxford Printing House, The wonderful Sir Christopher Wren designed Sheldonian Theatre and the unique Ashmolean Museum. Many of Oxfords many are fine churches are featured highlighted by the Buck brothers, culminating in the spectacular Christ Church Cathedral. In the background, you may just glimpse Queens College and Pembroke College. The final sweep of the panorama shows you the Rivers Cherwell and Isis, nearby Headington, Friar Bacons Study and sundry and assorted road leading from Oxford to Abingdon and London. The University of Oxford is the oldest university in English speaking world. The university has produced any number of famous and well known individuals: President Bill Clinton, Prime Ministers of Australia, Pakistan and India. The founder of Methodism John Wesley, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, leading scientist Stephen Hawking. This is a rare and significant opportunity to acquire one of these much sought 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.
17.75 x 33.75 inchesX