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. The city of Exeter is the West Country county of Devon, is pleasantly situated on the river Exe, and is Devons principle city. Exeter was Romes most southern and most westerly settlement in Britain, and began its life as a fortified settlement. Between the ninth and the eleventh centuries, Exeter was attacked on numerous occasions by the Danessometime successfully, other times unsuccessfully. The city boasts an impressive twelfth century cathedral, and during medieval times the city, became a prosperous place, on the back of the cloth trade, and the wool trade. These commodities were sold to France, Spain, Italy, and to the West Indies. Bucks copperplate panorama of Exeter, published in 1736 shows a densely populated, but also an orderly city, spreading out from the centrally located cathedral. Many churches are in evidence, as you scan the print. To the right you will see the estuary of the river Exe, and with it some far away towns and villages, like Topsham, Exmouth and Lymston. Taken altogether, this is a wonderful panorama, exquisitely engraved and presented, of an attractive, unspoilt, and quiet corner of England. 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. Description prepared for Arader Galleries by Ian Williams.