These sets of drawings illustrate the artistic and architectural skill of all three generations of the Buckler family.
John Chessell and Charles Alban Buckler’s drawing of the spire of St Mary’s St Mary’s Tower Spire in Oxford dated 1848-52 shows one facet of the spire decorated with pointed arches and pinnacles to the left, and at right a lucarne (small dormer window) ending in a steep gable with the clock below it. The tracery, ballflower mouldings and crockets have been diligently reproduced. The drawing is rendered on three pieces of paper pasted together, one of which had existing inscriptions on it (Add MS 36979, f.71). Lines of projection, dimensions, measurements and a scale in feet have also been inscribed across and around the drawing. J. C. Buckler undertook restoration work on several Oxfordshire churches as well as University colleges including Magdalen, Jesus, Oriel, Brasenose and Merton.
Twenty eight drawings of chimneys populate these pages from a large portfolio of architectural drawings by John Buckler, his son John Chessell Buckler and grandson Charles Alban Buckler. The album contains over two thousand five hundred meticulous studies of architectural details, and the album is one in a ten-part series of similar portfolios (Add MS 36430-36440).
Parts of buildings across Britain are represented, encompassing country houses, churches and public edifices. The drawings are arranged according to the type of architectural feature depicted: from windows to ornamental woodwork, dormers to doorways, porches to plinths, cornices to capitals and much more. Each chimney on this page, like every drawing in the portfolio, is carefully labelled with a location.
Not only are the studies scrupulously rendered, their arrangement is painstaking too. The drawings in all ten portfolios were laid out by the Bucklers themselves, and have remained in the same order since Charles Alban Buckler presented them to the British Museum in 1898.