A Prospect of Britain
By BUCK, Nathaniel. , 1749

[Cities, Sea-ports, and Capital Towns]

Travel & Voyages
  • Author: BUCK, Nathaniel.
  • Publication place: London:
  • Publisher: engraved by S. & N. Buck, No. 1 Garden Court, Middle Temple
  • Publication date: 1728-1749.
  • Physical description: Oblong folio (315 by 815mm). 24 engraved plates printed on single sheets, occasional light spotting, a few edges slightly frayed with light dust soiling, but not into images, contained in a modern green cloth box.
  • Inventory reference: 12888


One of the largest collections of the Bucks’ views to come to the open market, and the images used for Ralph Hyde’s book ‘A Prospect of Britain: the town panoramas of Samuel and Nathaniel Buck’.

The 80 plates represent the Bucks’ second series of town prospects, which they composed alongside their Antiquities, London: 1726-1753. There are three distinct groupings: Nottingham, Ely, Lincoln, Leicester, Stamford, Cambridge, all with a publication date of March 25th 1743; Sheffield, York, Rippon, Scarborough, Berwick upon Tweed, Carlisle, Kingston upon Hull, Leeds, Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham, publication date April 15th 1745; and South West Prospect of Richmond in the County of York, North East Prospect of Richmond in the County of York, Portsmouth and London (on 5 sheets), September 11th 1749. ‘After the completion of the antiquities, however, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, and Leicestershire were revisited and their principal towns recorded. Because several towns in the north had been dealt with in the first series [1720-1725], the Bucks left that area of England until last. The set, which was supposed to conclude the project, consisting of London in five sheets plus a sheet for Portsmouth, appeared on 11 September 1749. However, on the same day the brothers issued the finest of all their town prospects – two long views of Richmond, Yorkshire, the town with which they had been so closely associated. These were surely intended as the grand finale. Collectively their engravings constitute a national survey of ruins of the period, and provide us with an indispensable record of what English and Welsh towns looked like before the industrial revolution’ (ODNB).

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