Henry Altemus Company-Salesman Sample

Here is an extremely rare item from the Henry Altemus Company. Whether this was a salesman sample of covers or some sort of marketing aid is unknown. My guess is that this piece was used to show store owners the variety of covers that Altemus books could be found with and how this variety could help sales.

Between 1901 and 1907 some of the Altemus’ Vademecum Series’ books had appliqué covers with European paintings. More than 40 different ones have been seen. In most instance several different cover pictures could be put together to form a larger illustration. See: http://www.henryaltemus.com/vademecum.htm

The cover templates below were from books published in 1903. Very interesting is that the title: “Allegories of the Heart” which is on the fourth cover from the left was never published by Altemus.

I have seen one similar item over the years. That item has three of the six 1904 Wee Books for Wee Folk’s Series’ covers. See below.