Posted on , Last updated

Exceptionally rare map of Maine by John NormanJohn Norman was born in England around 1748 and probably apprenticed with London printer William Faden, father of the great engraver and publisher of the same name.  He moved to America in the early 1770s and first appears there in a May 11, 1774 Pennsylvania Journal advert offering his services as an “Architect and Landscape Engraver.”  In 1781 he moved to Boston, where he operated at several addresses as an engraver and publisher before handing his business to his son William in 1801. He died in Boston in 1817.

The work of John Norman almost entirely lacks the refinement of even middling European engraving of the time, but it often has a kind of crude power, and his entrepreneurial energy involved him in some of the most interesting and important American maps and atlases published in the late 18th century. Among these were Matthew Clark’s Complete Set of Charts of the Coast of America (1789); Norman’s own American Pilot (1790); and Osgood Carleton’s maps of Boston, Maine, Massachusetts and the United States.

Norman also performed numerous non-cartographic engravings, particularly in his earlier years in Boston.  Among these were portraits for Murray’s Impartial History of the War in America (1781), illustrations for the Boston Magazine (1783-84), and architectural images in the important work The Town and Country Builders Assistant (1786). 



17 results, ordered by Publication Date

Items Available for purchase

Chart from New York to Timber Island

John Norman’s 1791 Chart from New York to Timber Island

A rare American chart of the waters off Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Chart from New York to Timber Island Including Nantucket Shoals was engraved and first published in 1791 by John Norman, Boston’s most notable post-war map engraver.  It is usually found in Norman’s American Pilot, one of the earliest atlases published in […]

$15,000
View Details
[John Norman?], AMERICA TRIUMPHANT and BRITANNIA in DISTRESS. [Boston, late 1781?]

America gloats, even before Yorktown

A rare 1781 cartoon celebrating American independence, in an almost uncanny anticipation of the impending British surrender at Yorktown. This late-Revolutionary cartoon shows America “sitting on that quarter of the globe with the Flag of the United States displayed over her head; holding in one hand the Olive branch, inviting the ships of all nations […]

$12,500
View Details
Rare chart of the Maine Coast first published in 1791 by John Norman

18th-century chart of the Maine coast by John Norman

A rare chart of the Maine coast from the American Pilot, published in Boston by John Norman and one of the earliest atlases published in the United States. Chart of the Coast of America from Wood Island to Good Harbour was engraved and first published in Boston in 1791 by John Norman, the most notable of that town’s […]

$11,500
View Details

Items No longer available

Osgood Carleton, AN ACCURATE MAP, of The DISTRICT OF MAINE Being Part of the Commonwealth of MASSACHUSETTS: Compiled pursuant to an Act of the GENERAL COURT, From Actual Surveys of the several Towns &c. TAKEN BY THEIR ORDER: Exhibiting, the boundary Lines of the District the Counties and Towns, the principal Roads, Rivers, Mountains, Mines, Islands, Rocks, Shoals, Channels, Lakes, Ponds, Falls, Mills, Manufactures, and Public Buildings, with the Latitudes and Longitudes &c. Boston: Published and Sold by O. Carleton & J. Norman, [1798.]

Osgood Carleton’s 1798 Accurate Map of the District of Maine

A great rarity, Osgood Carleton’s Accurate Map of the District of Maine is among the most desirable early Maine maps, the most detailed to appear in the eighteenth century, and one of the earliest maps sponsored by an American state. Carleton’s map depicts the then-District of Maine at a scale of six miles to the […]

Out of Stock
View Details
Osgood Carleton, AN ACCURATE MAP of THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS Exclusive of the DISTRICT of MAINE Compiled pursuant to an ACT of the GENERAL COURT From Actual Surveys of the several Towns, &c.... Boston: Published and Sold by O. Carleton & J. Norman, [1798.]

Osgood Carleton’s 1798 Accurate Map of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

A great rarity, this seminal map by Osgood Carleton is by far the best 18th-century map of Massachusetts and one of the earliest officially-sponsored maps of an American state. With extensive expert restoration and priced accordingly, but all-but unobtainable in any condition. The map’s large scale of six miles to the inch gave mapmaker Osgood […]

Out of Stock
View Details
1794 William Norman chart of Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay

Chesapeake Bay from John Norman’s “American Pilot”

A mammoth, detailed and rare 18th-century American chart of Chesapeake Bay. From John and William Norman’s American Pilot, one of the earliest atlases published in the United States. This impressive chart depicts the complex coast from New Jersey south to just below Cape Henry, Virginia. It provides an immense amount of detail for Delaware Bay […]

Out of Stock
View Details
John Norman, A New Map of the District of Maine. Taken From the Original Map Compiled by Osgood Carleton Esqr. From the Actual Surveys that were made by an Act of the General Court With Additions Corrections & Improvements. Boston: Published & Sold by J. Norman Engraver, [1799?]

An exceptionally rare 1801 map of Maine by John Norman and Osgood Carleton

An early, intriguing and exceptionally rare map of pre-statehood Maine by John Norman and Osgood Carleton, two of the greatest and most prolific American mapmakers of the early Republican era. The map is a reduced edition of An Accurate Map of the District of Maine, which had been compiled by Osgood Carleton, engraved by Norman, […]

Out of Stock
View Details
J[ohn] Norman (engraver) / Sayer & Bennett (after), Plan of the Town of Boston, with the ATTACK on BUNKERS-HILL, in the Peninsula of CHARLESTOWN, the 17 th of June, 1775. [Boston, 1781].

John Norman plan of Boston, Charlestown, and the Battle of Bunker Hill

A dramatic 1781 image of Boston, Charlestown and the Battle of Bunker Hill engraved during the Revolutionary War by Boston engraver John Norman, who went on to become one of the most eminent map engravers and –publishers of the early Republic. The plan depicts all of Boston and Charlestown, with the Battle of Bunker Hill at […]

Out of Stock
View Details