BUCK, Samuel (1696-1779) and Nathaniel BUCK (fl. 1724-1759). The South-West Prospect of Yarmouth, in the County of Norfolk. 1741.

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BUCK, Samuel (1696-1779) and Nathaniel BUCK (fl. 1724-1759). The South-West Prospect of Yarmouth, in the County of Norfolk. 1741.


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. Samuel and Nathaniel Buck published their wonderful copperplate engraving of Yarmouth in 1741, just a few years before the town became a popular, early English seaside resort. Yarmouth, so called because the town sits at the mouth of the River Yare, has always been the gateway to the sea from the Norfolk Broads (a large area of navigable rivers and lakes). The town boasts a very large and fine market place, one of the largest in the country. The eminent Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens used Yarmouth as the location for his successful novel, David Copperfield. The supreme naval commander of the Royal Navy, Lord Horatio Nelson was once a resident of the town. In this Buck prospect, you see a very energetic, and a very vibrant town indeed. The towns people are everywhere. They are numbered on the Bowling Green, they are counted on the road to Lowestoft and Beccles, many are viewed walking in some number along the town quay. In the foreground however, some are seen perhaps a little worse for wear, and some ancient mariners are seen asking any passers by for any spare change. A large number of ships and boats can be viewed on the river, and the splendid town is seen in the background. The town is engraved with an extraordinary amount of detail and skill. Buildings and churches are picked out with wonderful depth and the utmost clarity.This is an exciting panorama of a town that is full to the brim with interest, fascination and possibility.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 who has over 20 years experience with maps and decorative prints._