NORMAN, John. The Town and Country Builder's Assistant. , 4-13,  pp. text, with an engraved allegorical frontispiece and 60 engraved plates. Folio, 312 x 185 mm., bound in contemporary sheep (rebacked, corners repaired). Boston: John Norman, 1786.
First edition of the first contribution to the field of architecture compiled in America. After issuing the first American edition of Swan's The British Architect, Norman came to Boston and published this work, compiled from various English sources, containing 60 plates depicting interior and exterior designs from homes and public buildings. "In its house plans and details this collection more nearly approaches the needs of the average well-to-do man than the more ambitious reprint of The British Architect" (AAS). The frontispiece is from Isaac Ware's 1756 The Complete Body of Architecture, and other content is drawn from the works of Batty Langley and other pattern book authors. Of great rarity. Only two other complete copies are recorded at auction, one in 2015 in a modern binding, and one in the De Vinne sale in 1919.
Binding rebacked, a few plates silked, some just shaved at outer edge or with repairs around the edges of the platemark, but overall an exceptionally fresh copy.
Evans 20027; Hitchcock 856; see "The Colonial Scene-1602-1800," in Proceedings of the American Antiquarian Society (April 1950), p. 74.
PROVENANCE: Moses Fowler (contemporary inscription, marginalia relating to carpentry). William S. Reese.
Item nr. 170503