THE WEST PROSPECT OF PORTSMOUTH, IN HAMPSHIRE. Buck, Samuel and Nathaniel Buck

$ 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. If you are a naval man, or someone who likes things of a maritime nature, then Samuel and Nathaniel Bucks visually stunning 1749 copperplate panorama of Portsmouth is something that should definitely be of interest. Ships and boats of all types and sizes are to be seen, crammed tight on the River Solent. Sailors are being ferried in all directions, either out to their ship, or going ashore. In the background, we see the main buildings of the town that serve this huge and important naval enterprise. Boathouses are glimpsed, officers housing is seen, rope and rigging houses, are found, along with local features like common land, churches, towers, town gates, various bluffs and points, and a few nearby towns and villages. King Richard I was an early benefactor. He built many houses and buildings within the town. He also granted a royal charter to the town which allowed a market day, and a 15 day annual fair, plus specific tax exemptions. Portsmouth has for many centuries been the base English kings have used in order to attack the French. As early as 1200, King John ordered a naval base to be stationed at Portsmouth. Much later, King Henry V decided to build a more permanent fortification, which was added to by the future monarchs; King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The French, realizing the strategic significance of Portsmouth, subsequently attacked the port and town of many times in retaliation for attacks launched against them from Portsmouth. 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.