Samuel Buck (1696-1779) & Nathaniel Buck (active 1724-59)
Panorama of the River Thames from Westminster Bridge to London Bridge

Published September 1749
30×404 cm
Engraving

Samuel & Nathaniel were brothers, best known for their depictions of ancient castles and monasteries entitled ‘Buck’s Antiquities’ and those of townscapes of England and Wales, ‘Sea-Ports and Capital Towns’. LIttle is known about the brothers’ lives. Samuel was born in Yorkshire and died in penury in London in 1779, he was buried in the churchyard of St Clement Danes. Nathaniel pre-deceased him, dying between 1759 and 1774.

This panorama is a fascinating insight into a long-lost, but strangely familiar, London. To the left is Westminster Bridge, framing the picture and to the right London Bridge completes the frame. A detailed key identifies 140 buildings and other features. Amongst the more recognisable items are Westminster Abbey, Horse Ferry (which is, indeed, a ferry for taking horses across the river with their carts and carriages), but presuamably somewhat redundant with the new (1750) bridge that coincides with the publishing of this print, the huge stack of used straw at Blackfriars awaiting being taken away by boat, the water wheel by London Bridge which generated power to pump water around the city (132,000 gallons per hour), and that the tide is clearly coming in (London Bridge caused a significant restriction in the flow of the tidal Thames such that the river water could be 6 feet higher on one side of the bridge than the other).

Condition: Recently conserved, backed to Japan paper, some toning and occasional spotting as visible in photograph, occasional very minor marginal losses, generally good condition. Frame included for buyers within 2 hours’ drive of London, or by agreement. Frame is 425 cm wide.

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