THE WEST PROSPECT OF HIS MAJESTIES DOCK-YARD, NEAR PLYMOUTH 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 1689, when William of Orange in Holland, became William III of England, he immediately ordered a new dockyard to be built, as he viewed Plymouth as being too inadequate. He duly dispatched a naval officer to the west country to look for suitable sites. Two sites were selected; One Catwater, off Plymouth, and the other on the Hamoaze, further up the river Tamar. In 1690, Hamoaze was chosen, and this would eventually become Devonport Royal Naval Dockyard. Samuel and Nathaniel Buck included this outstanding copperplate panorama of the Royal Naval Dockyard in 1736. We can clearly see already that a significant settlement has grown up around the dockyard. The Buck Brothers brilliantly highlight all the important buildings that would accompany such a place; an Ordinance Wharf, Plank Houses, Store Houses, Officers Accommodation, the Pitch House, Hemp House, Sail House and so on. All local land marks are similarly highlighted; Tar Point, Mt Edgecombe, St.Nicholas Island, The Mew Stone, and so on. Even shops that supply ships equipment are depicted; a Smiths (smithy) shop, and Carpenter and Joiners shops. In the foreground of this delightful panorama, we see a couple of sailors swapping possible tales and yarns of their long ago days at sea. Both the new and old docks are well delineated. Many sailing craft are seen in the River Tamar, and the many smaller boats that service them whilst they are at anchor. 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.