RARE MAP OF THE MAINE COAST FROM NORMAN’S AMERICAN PILOT

 

$17,500

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AUTHOR:

NORMAN, WILLIAM

TITLE:

A Chart of the Cast of America from Wood Island to Good Harbour From Hollands Surveys [From William Norman’s The American Pilot, Boston, 1803]

CONDITION:

20” x 32". Uncolored copper-engraving.

DATE:

1803

DESCRIPTION:

State Two of the second chart of the Maine coast published in America, which appeared only in the 1803 edition of the American Pilot. This second state is distinguished by the addition of the title lacking from state one, which appeared in the previous five editions, and is much more common than this second state. The American Revolution brought an end to Britain’s leading role in the mapping of America. The task now fell to the American publishing industry, still in its infancy, but with first-hand access to the new surveys that were documenting the nation’s rapid growth. In particular, the expanding New England commercial fleets needed new charts of the nation’s coasts. The first American marine atlas, Matthew Clark’s A Complete Set of Charts of the Coast of America, was published in Boston in 1790. Two of Clark’s charts had been engraved by John Norman, who was inspired to launch his own enterprise. In January 1790, Norman published a notice in the Boston Gazette stating he was currently engraving charts of all the coast of America on a large scale. These were assembled and published as The American Pilot, Boston, 1791. Norman’s Pilot, the second American marine atlas, indeed the second American atlas of any kind, marked an advance over the earlier work of Matthew Clark. New editions of the Pilot appeared in 1792 and 1794, and after John Norman’s death, his son, William, brought out further editions in 1794, 1798, 1801, and 1803. Despite the seemingly large number of editions, The American Pilot is one of the rarest of all American atlases, and one of only a small handful published in the eighteenth century. Wheat and Brun locate just ten complete copies for the first five editions: 1791 (Huntington, Harvard); 1792 (LC, Clements); 1794(1) (LC, JCB, Boston Public); 1794(2) (Yale); 1798 (LC, Boston Public).

REFERENCES:

see Wheat & Brun #166, 2nd State.

Inventory No. 7924

Cohen & Taliaferro

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