310 x 790 mm., with old, possibly early, wash colour, trimmed close to the plate mark as expected with the early issues, in good condition.
The very rare first issue of the Buck’s panorama of York. This was separately published by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck in 1745 and is so dated. Its most common appearance is in 1774 when the series of 81 panoramas was published by Robert Sayer. For that issue the plates included a plate number top right. The brothers Samuel and Nathaniel Buck were born in Richmond, North Yorkshire and became interested in sketching town prospects because of Ralph Thoresby, a local antiquary. From 1719 they produced and published a series of views of towns in the north of England. Each was available to subscribers for between 2 and 5 shillings each. They soon outgrew the north and moved south to London. Their tours to sketch were prepared well in advance, potential subscribers being contacted beforehand usually through local press. The following summer season would be when the view was prepared. On occasions other artists were employed to enhance the foreground image and bring it to life. Infrequently two prospects were designed to pair together such as those of Deptford and Greenwich and Chatham and Rochester. This created a longer panorama with greater impact. At the end of the season they would return to London and began the process of engraving. Nathaniel Buck died in 1756 and in 1774 Robert Sayer acquired the copper plates from Samuel and published them as ‘Buck’s Antiquities’, a magnificent three volume work. In 1779 Samuel Buck died. Their perspective panoramic views have never been surpassed and are a very valuable record of a pre-industrial Britain. No other series of views ever published was as extensive or detailed. 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: private English collection. Hyde (1994) ‘A Prospect of Britain’.