Henry Altemus Company


Vademecum Series / European Artists


Vademecum Series (#179-180) ..... and European Artists

The Vademecum Series is a multivolumed, multiauthored series of books that was published between 1894 and 1926. The covers of the books as well as the titles changed from year to year. This series is one of a number of publisher’s series that printed the same titles but in different formats.

In the Vademecum Series there were more than 24 different covers over the years. These covers appeared in numerous different colors and/or with numerous paste-on (applique) pictures.

Between 1894 and 1898 there were as many as 109 titles. Starting in 1899 there were varying numbers of titles up to the maximum of 187 titles. Some years the Vademecum Series included all the books on the list. Other years, without rhyme or reason, some titles would be dropped only to reappear another year.

Reprints of Poe, Carroll, Hawthorne in addition to the writings of Emerson, Kipling, Longfellow and many, many others made up the Vademecum list.

The same book list was used by many of the Publisher’s series. The later list (from 1899 on) was in alphabetical order. The earlier one was a random book list.

Perhaps the most interesting of the Vademecum books are the ones published between 1901-1907. During this period of time there were 6 different covers which had paintings by European artists as appliques on the front covers of the books. Because of the width of the original paintings, two books may have parts of the same painting but may look totally different because they have different sections of the painting on their covers.

To further explain, note the pictures. Each of these five covers (from 1903 and 1907) look quite different even though the pictures on the front of the covers are really from the same painting. Because of this it is somewhat difficult to absolutely quantitate the number of different book covers there are. Nonetheless, as is shown below, I have designated at this point in time 43 different pictures (although the number of paintings is lower).



Thus a specific title will have at least 43 different covers times the number of different colors the cover has been seen in. So if a Vademecum book format has 7 different color covers (like the 1903 books), then a certain title could be seen with 301 different covers.







In 1901 in addition to the European paintings as paste-ons, the 1901 format included four different Alphonse Mucha paintings from the Seasons Series. All four seasons are shown below.

I am including the 43 European paintings below as well as the three Mucha covers seen so far. I suspect it is an incomplete list. New pictures and new composites which include more than one cover will be added as they are obtained.

I have arbitrarily numbered these pictures for ease in identification.

As noted above some of the covers are comprised of parts of a larger painting. This has been seen with #5 and #18, #25 and #26, #14 and #20, #4 and #27, #13 and #33, #3 and #16, #15 and #22, #10 and #17, #9 and #21, #2 and #6, #28 and #42, and #41 and #43.

1. Large windowed house

2. Mountain over water

3. Giant tree/sidewalk

4. Light house


5. Red roof/people sitting

6. 2 rowboats

6. right

7. Large sailboat


8. Distant sailboat

9. Buildings on the water

10. Pine tree behind winter tree

10. left


10. right

11. Man walking in the woods/winter

12. Big waves/rocks

13. Big circle on pic




14. House behind pond

15. Three trees


16. Wooden house with red chimney/man by fence


17. House behind trees/rock

18. Hay in field


19. Large trees/stump in front

20. Red trees

21. People on sidewalk

22. Rock wall with house behind


23. Waves front/angle mntn in back

24. Giant mntn behind still water

25. Giant oak tree next to water

25. (right)


26. One clapboard with chimney

27. Sailboat with red rag flag

28. 2 clapboards with chimney

29. Grass water grass sky (nondescript)


30. People under a tree

31. Sailboat with distant lighthouse

32. Big rock, waves, distant sailboats

33. Distant white house in the trees


34. Boat tied in water/calm waves

35. Multiple rocks on hillside

36. Waves-no land/rocks

37. Clapboard on pond


38. Tower on the peninsula

39. Rocks in pond

40. Double trunk trees (2)

41. Trees on pond


41. (left)

42. Houses on a pier

43. Three bushes on the water


1901 Mucha - Winter

1901 Mucha - Spring

1901 Mucha - Summer

1901 Mucha - Fall

Not every color has been seen with each of these 6 covers.
Here is a key for which color covers have been seen in which years.

1. Blue 1901, 1902, 1903, 1907a
2. Light blue 1901, 1902, 1903, 1907
3. Red 1901a, 1902, 1903
4. Maroon 1903
5. Green 1901a, 1902, 1903, 1907, 1907a
6. Brown 1901, 1901a, 1903, 1907
7. Deep Blue 1902, 1903
8. Pink 1902
9. White/tan 1907, 1907a
10. Beige 1901a, 1907
11. Olive green 1901, 1902, 1907a

#5 and #18

#2 and #6

#14 and #20

#4 and #27

#13 and #33

#3 and #16

#15 and #22

#10 and #17

#9 and #21

#25,#26,#41 and #43

#28 and #42



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Last Revision November 24, 2013