Costume of the Glaciers [William Buckland]

Method Etching
Artist Thomas Sopwith
Published c. 1840
Dimensions Image 200 x 130, Sheet 215 x 149 mm
Notes A satirical portrait relating to Buckland's research trips to the north of England to study glacial theories. The humorous depiction shows Buckland wrapped up in layers of warm clothing and carrying a variety of equipment including a roll of papers entitled 'Maps of Ancient Glaciers' and tools for taking rock samples. The labels at the lower left describe rock samples with scratches from a glacier made thousands of years ago along with scratches made by a cart on Waterloo Bridge 'the day before yesterday'. A coach in the background goes by a sign to Alston. Sopwith has even signed the portrait as 'Scratched by T Sopwith'.

Buckland travelled to Switzerland in 1838 to meet Louis Agassiz after having become interested in his theory that polished and striated rocks as well as transported material had been caused by ancient glaciers. This meeting made him rethink his previous attribution of these effects in Scotland, Wales and northern England to the Biblical flood. When Agassiz came to Britain for the Glasgow meeting of 'The British Association' in 1840, the pair went on an extended tour of Scotland and found evidence there of former glaciation. In the same year Buckland was re-elected President of the Geological Society. Despite a hostile reaction there to his presentation of the theory, he was now satisfied that glaciation had been the origin of much of the surface deposits covering Britain. Alongside his geological discoveries, Buckland was a man of the cloth. In 1845 he was appointed by Sir Robert Peel to the vacant Deanery of Westminster (he succeeded Samuel Wilberforce) and moved to Islip. As Dean and head of Chapter, Buckland was involved in repair and maintenance of Westminster Abbey and in preaching to the rural population of Islip, while lecturing on geology at the University of Oxford.

Thomas Sopwith (1803-1879) was a Victorian surveyor and civil engineer.

Condition: Some foxing and surface dirt.
Framing unmounted
Price £300.00
Stock ID 45148