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Map, Massachusetts, Cape Ann, Pictorial, Coulton Waugh, Vintage Print, 1927


Coulton Waugh (1896-1973) (artist and printmaker)
Cape Ann and the North Shore
American: 1927
Hand-colored print
Signed in the matrix lower right
19.5 x 15.75 inches, image
23 x 19.25 inches, border edge
24.75 x 20.75 inches, overall

Large pictorial map of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, with illustrations of homes, churches, historic buildings, ships, birds, animals, fruit trees, and plants. The map subtitle notes its focus: “A map displaying the hardy maritime development of these historic parts.” Included are detailed illustrations of numerous historic ships: the Clipper Ship Dreadnaught “Built in Newburyport in 1853;” a Rockport Stone Sloop; a Gloucester fishing pinkie, c. 1800; and Ship “Hazard” of Salem, c. 1799. Geography is simple, showing rivers and indicating the locations of towns and some landmarks such as lighthouses. The coastline is shaded with hatch marks. A decorative cartouche in the lower right corner features a compass rose radiating rhumb lines and a fanciful toothed sea creature resembling an octopus. The elaborate decorative border incorporates nautical motifs, floral patterns, and inset illustrations in a style reminiscent of 19th-century woodcuts. The oceans are shaded with a dot pattern and include stylized fish and a whimsical sea monster.

Product description continues below.


Waugh’s pictorial maps, including Cape Ann and the North Shore, were often hand-colored, possibly by Waugh or otherwise by assistants in his studio, thus giving rise to variations among them. The Library of Congress has one in its collection, which is illustrated as one of the colorplates in Stephen J. Hornsby’s book on American pictorial maps and is also pictured elsewhere in that book in a vintage photograph of the interior of the Provincetown shop where Waugh sold his maps and prints (see References below).

Coulton Waugh was an artist specializing in both illustration and fine art including pictorial maps and comics. He is often credited with being at the forefront of reviving the art of decorative mapmaking in the 20th Century with his creation of a large silk pictorial map of Cape Cod, exhibited in 1918 at the International Silk Show. Waugh took over drawing the comic strip Dickie Dare from its creator Milton Caniff in 1933 , continuing until 1957. He also wrote a seminal history of cartooning called The Comics (1947), one of the first serious examinations of the medium. He taught art and authored instructional books on cartooning and palette-knife painting.

In 1922, Waugh created a whimsical map of Greenwich Village for The World Magazine, portraying people in a cartoon style that later became evident in his work in comics. Nonetheless, in his maps, Waugh generally took a serious and scholarly approach to both local geography and history, with illustrations in a traditional style often resembling woodblock prints. The son of the renowned maritime painter Frederick Waugh, he also infused his own maps with maritime themes, including historic ships, elaborate compass roses, and fantastical sea creatures. In this manner, he created several maps of Cape Cod in two different versions, and in various sizes (1926, 1930). He also executed a related map of Cape Ann, Massachusetts (1927) and in 1928 he made one of Long Island that showed the Connecticut coast on the Long Island Sound as well. An additional two of his particularly rare maps of this prolific period were of Saint Paul’s School, Concord, New Hampshire (1929) and Racing Routes of the Yankee Clippers (1935). About the time these maps were being published, Waugh sold them, along with other prints, at his Ship Model Shop of Cape Cod in Provincetown and through catalogs. A later Waugh map that included a maritime theme was Ye Mighty Hudson River (1958). Waugh’s maps were issued in black and white, and some with hand color, the later either by Waugh himself, or assistants in his studio.

Full publication information: Copyright 1927 by Coulton Waugh

Condition: Map generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified, with only light remaining toning and wear, and with rice paper repairs verso to a few minor short marginal tears.


“Coulton Waugh.” 18 January 2003. (11 March 2020).

Creason, Glen. “A Smile of Understanding.” Mercator’s World Magazine. September-October 1999. Online at: (30 January 2003).

Guadazno, Laurel. “Coulton Waugh.” Provincetown Banner. 31 August 2000. (30 January 2003).

Hornsby, Stephen J. Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. pp. 46-47, 160-161, plate 81.

Additional information


20th Century