PUBLISHER: Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia, 1842-1936

ABOUT: See index page.

LUCILE’s ISSUED BY Henry Altemus Company: Altemus produced editions of Lucile in just two sizes: "12mo" (about 5 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, from 1892?-1921?) and "Handy Volume" (about 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches, from 1889?-1926). Both formats were produced from a single setting of type. The 12mo editions were set with generous leading (resulting in a longer column of text) and printed with generous margins. The leading was pulled for the Handy Volume editions, and margins were reduced to fit the smaller page size. Both formats were doubtless electroplated immediately, and both have text blocks of 361 pages; page count alone does not distinguish them. This page contains information about 12mo editions, presented in order of chronological appearance. See Information about Handy Volume editions. on separate page.

Twelve Mo. Editions:
1895: Standard Twelve Mos. (Altemus' Illustrated...)
1896: Standard Twelve Mos. (Altemus' Illustrated...); Presentation Edition [of Illustrated Library]
1897: Library of Standard Authors (Altemus' Illustrated...)
1898: Library of Standard Authors (Altemus' Illustrated...); Presentation Editions of Standard Authors (Altemus'...)
1901: Riviere Series
1902: Popular Library (Altemus' Illustrated...)
1913: Altemus's Library Alphabetical List of 12mo. Editions
1915: Velvet Calf 12mos.

Altemus' Library, 1913-1919, 1921; Library of Standard Authors, 1897-1900; Popular Library, 1902; Presentation Edition(s), 1897-1898; Riviere Series, 1901; Standard Twelve Mos, 1895-1896; Velvet Calf 12mos, 1915.

Altemus' Illustrated Standard Twelve Mos. 1895 PTLA: Size 5 1/2 x 7 1/2. A new series of the most popular authors presented in attractive bindings, and beautifully printed from new large clear type, on fine super-calendared paper, and profusely illustrated with full page and other engravings by the best artists. Full Cloth, full silver side and back inlaid title, head band and ribbon marker, gold top $1.00. Half Crushed Levant, silk sewn, handsomely tooled backs, gold tops, boxed $1.50. Half Genuine English Calf, backs beautifully inlaid, silk sewn, gold tops, boxed $2.50. [(Lucile shown in cut].
1896 PTLA: Full Cloth, handsome new designs in silver and inks, gold top, boxed $1.00. [Lucile in 1895 design shown in cut].

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Presentation Edition (of Illustrated Library issue). 1896 PTLA: Bound in full white vellum, silver and monotint, gold top, with Florentine slip cover and double box $1.50.

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Altemus' Illustrated Library of Standard Authors.. 1897 PTLA: A new series of the most popular authors in attractive bindings. Beautifully printed from new, large, clear type on fine, super-calendared paper, and profusely illustrated with full-page and text engravings by the best artists. Lucile is #4 of 9; cut).
1898-1900 PTLA: as 1897... "Other standard works will be added to the series from time to time... Lucile ... numerous illustrations by George du Maurier... Full cloth, gilt tops, handsome design in gold and inks. Size, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2, boxed.....$1.00". [Cut].

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A Fine Staggemeier and Welcher Mosaic Binding, With an Edwards of Halifax Fore-Edge Painting

22. (BINDINGS - STAGGEMEIER AND WELCHER). (FORE-EDGE PAINTING). [ELLIS, GEORGE, Editor]. SPECIMENS OF THE EARLY ENGLISH POETS. (London: Printed [by T. Rickaby] for Edwards, 1790) 71 /2 x 5". 1 p.l., v, [1] pp, [1] leaf, 323 pp. A VERY FINE CONTEMPORARY MOSAIC BINDING, NO DOUBT BY STAGGEMEIER AND WELCHER, calf COVERS framed with a single gilt rule and ONLAID IN BLACK AND RED AND TOOLED IN GOLD TO A DIAPERED MOSAIC DESIGN, spine similarly decorated, black calf label, turn-ins ruled in gilt, marbled end papers, all edges gilt. In a brown morocco pull-off box with raised bands and gilt spine titling. The volume WITH A FINE FORE-EDGE PAINTING of a large country house beside a bridged stream (see below). Leather bookplate of Cortlandt F. Bishop. Brune: II, 963; Graesse I, 468. Slight dulling to leather, a few superficial hairline cracks to spine, trivial defects internally, but AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF AN HISTORIC BINDING IN ESPCIALLY FINE UNSOPHISTICATED CONDITION. (Front cover, Plate 4) $6,500.

This volume provides us with a wonderful and perhaps unprecedented example of a particularly satisfying collaboration between the firms of Staggemeier and Welcher and Edwards of Halifax, two of the most celebrated and skillful workshops employed in the book arts at the end of the 18th century. The covers of the binding here are nearly identical to those seen on item #197 in the Henry Davis Gift, and quite similar to those seen on item #202 in the Abbey catalogue, both bindings assigned to Staggemeier and Welcher, German immigrants in partnership in London from about 1799 to 1810. Like Kalthoeber and several others German binders, they came to England to satisfy the fashionable need among gentry and nobility for elegant bindings, and "in their heyday Staggemeier and Welcher were one of the most prolific workshops producing 'extra' quality work in London." (Maggs Catalogue 1212) The mosaic binding is said to have originated in France in the early part of the 18th century, and the famous French binder Antoine-Michel Padeloup (1685-1758) is credited with first employing the particular style seen here, the so-called "a repetition" binding, "where a small compartment of colored leather outlined in gold is repeated in diaper-fashion all over the covers." (Broxbourne catalogue) This design was resurrected in England at the end of the century by Staggemeier & Welcher, perhaps, says Abbey, at the suggestion of James Edwards. Abbey comments generally on the connections between Edwards and Staggemeier and Welcher, saying that "it is extremely probable that some of or all these" mosaic bindings were commissioned by the former and done by the latter. In addition to "Abbey's remarks, we can develop the Staggemeier-Edwards connection indirectly because of the nature of the fore- edge painting here. It depicts the same scene as the one found on the copy of Bromley's "Royal Letters" that appears as item #226 in the 1987 Maggs catalogue 1075, a binding identified as executed by Edwards of Halifax, and the discussion of that binding mentions a painting of our same scene known to appear on yet another book. A penciled note in the Bromley volume identifies the scene as Lucan House in Dublin; whatever the identity of the place being depicted, the fore-edge paintings are similar not only because they show the same scene, but also because they are remarkable in their delicacy of detail and in their distinctive use of pale coloring. It is surely not unreasonable to suggest that they were done by the same artist, and to assert that Edwards probably commissioned both the painter and Staggemeier and Welcher to work on the present volume. So far as we know, there is not another recorded example of a Staggemeier and Welcher mosaic binding on a book that also has a fore-edge painting attributable to Edwards.

[This description appeared in catalogs #40 (October 1997) and #42 (November 1998) issued by Phillip J. Pirages. Altemus clearly "borrowed" the design and adapted it to block stamping rather than hand tooling].

Presentation Edition (of Standard Authors). 1898-1890 PTLA. "Presentation Editions of Standard Authors." [Lucile is #4.] "A selected series of the most popular authors in handsome presentation binding. Beautifully printed from new, large, clear type, on fine super-calendared paper, and profusely illustrated by the best artists.... Lucile ... numerous illustrations by George du Maurier... Half White Vellum and Gold, Gilt Tops, and handsome floral design. Size, 5 1/2 x 7 1/2.....$1.00". [Cut].

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Riviere Series. 1901 PTLA: [Lucile is #82}. "TWELVEMOS. The publishers, in presenting this new line of TWELVEMOS, attractively printed on extra quality paper, from large, clear type, with ample margins, and appropriately illustrated with numerous half-tone and other illustrations, anticipate a large demand from an appreciative public. Full Cloth, handsome new and original inlaid binding effects, gold tops, 50c." [No. 84 of 165 in series. Cut].

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Altemus' Illustrated Popular Library. 1902 PTLA. Cloth. Illustrated. $1.00. [Cuts of several bindings: each volume in the series seems to have had an individual design sharing the general format of typography and a large center illustraton].

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Altemus' Library. 1913-1914 PTLA: With numerous full page illustrations. Ornamental Cloth, 12mo, 75 cents each.
1915 PTLA: as 1914 and "Velvet Calf, Gilt Top, Boxed $1.50; Full Morocco, Gilt Top, Boxed $3.00." [Lucile is #2 of 8 titles].
1916-1919: as 1914, without morocco.
1921: "One of the most popular of the Gift Series published to-day--books that are real favorites with young people and equally so with their elders almost the world over. No more fascinating book for children than "A Child's Garden of Verses" was ever written. Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" and Meredith's "Lucile" are other volumes of this charming series that will appeal to every boy and girl in America. A splendid selection of choice reading, both entertaining and helpful. Many full-page illustrations. Ornamental Cloth, 12mo. Price, $1.50 each." [Cut shown is same as 1915 (Handy Volume) New Vademecum Series].

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Velvet Calf 12mos. Reported on the HenryAltemusCompany website with no known copies of any title [but perhaps same as variant binding listed in 1915 Library series?].

Last revised: 25 June 2023