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Polly Bolian Cameo Editions

In 1959, children were introduced to the first of four Nancy Drew book club editions--the Cameo editions. Officially, the club was known as the 'Nancy Drew Readers' Club' however these have been dubbed "Cameos" due to the cameo of Nancy hanging on a colored ribbon featured on the spine of the books and dust jackets as well as on the covers and inside on the endpapers. These Cameo editions featured art by Polly Bolian and introduced the first colored frontispieces for the Nancy Drew books featured in the two sets produced.

There were 12 books issued altogether--6 in 1959 and 6 more in 1960. The 1960 set is by far much harder to find than those in the 1959 set and of those in the 1959 set, The Secret of the Velvet Mask is more prevalent due to it being the promotional volume of the set. Velvet Mask was offered as you can see in the ad above for only 10¢ while other volumes to come would cost the reader $1.49 per month. The ad boasted that the books were in "beautiful new low-cost editions newly designed and newly illustrated especially for" the club.

This special offer was intended for girls 8 to 15 years of age. No matter what age you are though, collectors will agree that what makes these volumes so collectible is the striking Polly Bolian artwork. From the beautiful color illustrations to the 8 internal line drawings, these editions are worth the cost and time spent hunting them down. Often whether on eBay or at a book seller, on average, they often range in price from as low as $10.00 for a book without its dust jacket on up to $50.00 or more for harder to find book without their dust jackets. Volumes with dust jackets range anywhere from $20.00 to over $150.00--the high end range for those harder to find volumes.

For the breakdown of the Cameo Formats, click here.

Below you will find thumbnail images you can click on to view each of the volumes in the Cameo edition sets for pictures of the dust jackets, books, and internals, as well as format information for each book. Each has various color combinations for boards and even ribbon colors.

1959 Cameo Editions Set 1960 Cameo Editions Set
  • 30, The Clue of the Velvet Mask
  • 31, The Ringmaster's Secret
  • 32, The Scarlet Slipper Mystery
  • 33, The Witch Tree Symbol
  • 34, The Hidden Window Mystery
  • 35, The Haunted Showboat
  • 27, The Secret of the Wooden Lady
  • 28, The Clue of the Black Keys
  • 29, The Mystery at the Ski Jump
  • 36, The Secret of the Golden Pavilion
  • 1, The Secret of the Old Clock
  • 2, The Hidden Staircase

By far, the hardest to find titles, especially with dust jacket, are Old Clock and Hidden Staircase.

Volume #30
Volume #31
Volume #32
Volume #33
Volume #34
Volume #35
Volume #27
Volume #28
Volume #29
Volume #36
Volume #1
Volume #2

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