The commercial success of the enterprise initially made the brothers wealthy. However they both appear to have developed financial problems later in life. Nathaniel Buck died in 1756 and in 1774 Robert Sayer acquired the copper plates from Samuel and published them here in ‘Buck’s Antiquities’, a magnificent three volume work priced at 20 guineas. In 1779 Samuel Buck died. Much of the topography documented in the views has subsequently been lost and they are a very valuable record of a pre-industrial Britain. These perspective panoramic views have never been surpassed; no other series of views ever published was as extensive or detailed. The front of the work bears a very fine mezzotint double portrait of Samuel and Nathaniel Buck dressed finely. It was engraved by Joseph Highmore after a painting by Richard Houston (1692-1780).
They provided the model for numerous derivatives including the inset views to Emanuel Bowen and Thomas Kitchin’s ‘Large English Atlas’ c.1755, Robert and James Dodsley’s ‘England Illustrated’ 1764, Nathaniel Spencer’s ‘Complete English Traveller’ 1773, George Walpoole’s ‘New & Complete English Traveller’ 1784 and the European, London and Universal Magazines from the 1750s. Provenance: London Antiquarian Book Fair 1996; private English collection; Clive A Burden Ltd. 2014; private English collection. Clayton, Timothy. (1997). ‘The English Print 1688-1802’ p. 65; Hyde, Ralph. (1985). ‘Gilded Scenes and Shining Prospects, Panoramic Views of British Towns 1575-1900’; Hyde, Ralph. (1994). ‘A Prospect of Britain, The Town Panoramas of Samuel and Nathaniel Buck’; Upcott I, page xxxiii.