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The following are questions submitted via email by our visitors.

If you have a question about Altemus books that you'd like answered please click on the Questions link at the bottom left of this page.

We recommend that those inquiring about the identification of a particular book format send pictures along with their question.


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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
12 Aug 2015 87

Favorite Series

Q:  Dear Sirs; Looking to your website in identification of an Altemus book I recently uncovered in an attic box at an estate sale a copy of an Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It doesn't quite match the covers I've seen before for any of the formats of the young people's library formats. The copyright gives 1896 and it displays the binding style of format 1 but the cover I have not seen before. Book is in excellent shape, a solid piece. Found in the manner it was and my familiarity as a collector I cannot believe it is a reproduction or other. Can you please identify?

A:  Your book is part of the Favorite Series. It is a Format 1 style and was published in 1900-1901.

The text of the book is identical to the Young People's Library text and why Altemus published this (and many other) titles in multiple series simultaneously is unclear.

The books of this series all came with dust jackets initially.

Although not rare, the volumes of this series are much less commonly found than those in the Young People's Library.

10 Aug 2015 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  This is an 1895 printing of “Idylls of the King.” On the inside front cover, someone has written their name and the year 1896. Can you tell me what this is worth?

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1895.

All of the books in this series are reprints.

Since this is not a very collectible title and because it is in poor shape, it will be hard to sell at any price.

08 Aug 2015 186

Wee Books for Wee Folks

Q:  I read your information on the Internet about these books and am sending you these pictures to see if you can tell me their approximate value. All three books have the blue endpapers. The Foolish Fox, Mother Goose Nursery Tales, The Robber Kitten

A:  This series of little (5.5' x 4.5") books was published in three formats. The third format (pictured here) which has an appliqué picture placed on a stereotypical line drawn illustrated cover had 37 titles. The dust jackets matched the front covers.

The endpapers can be used to date the book. Blue endpapers were found in volumes published between 1923 and 1926. See sample picture here.

This format was published between 1917 and 1931. http://www.henryaltemus.com/series/series186.htm
The series first two formats were published between 1904-1917. ../series/series185.htm

The value of the books is dictated by the particular title, condition, presence of a dust jacket, etc. These three titles are not especially collectible and thus have limited value.

06 Aug 2015 92

Gem Series

Q:  Dear Sir/Madam,
I am a volunteer at my local library and this book was donated in a book drive for re-sale with proceeds going to the library. Can you provide any information about this book? The book is bound in what appears to be lined calfskin. 237 pages. Pictures attached. The Lady of the Lake

A:  Your book is part of the Gem Series and was published in 1913-1914.The limp velvet calf has been seen in brown or green. It originally came within a labeled box.

This title is a reprint.

05 Aug 2015 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have attached scans of the cover and copyright pages of three books. Any help you can give me regarding the value and/or authenticity of these books would be greatly appreciated. Please advise. Uncle Tom's Cabin

A:  This book was published in 1894 as part of the Vademecum Series. This long running publisher's series included only titles that are reprints. During 1894 the first 27 titles were published in a series that eventually would have more than 100 titles.

In 1894 this cloth cover was published in a number of different colors. Some are shown here.

Your book has nominal value.

04 Aug 2015 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  While cleaning out my mothers home we came upon this edition of Black Beauty. Any info you can provide would be so helpful. Thank you. It is inscribed with no desk jacket.

A:  This book was published in 1896 as part of the Vademecum Series. All of the titles in this series are reprints and your volume is one of numerous reprints of this title published in the 1890's. It originally came within a labeled box. It has nominal value.

03 Aug 2015 47

Beauxarts Series

Q:  I have attached photos of the book "Thoughts of the Emperor published by Henry Altemus". There are many of these around, however, I can’t seem to find another one with a cover like this one. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

A:  Your book is part of the Beauxarts Series and was published in 1897. This is a very commonly found format.

Each of the years the Beauxarts Series was published, the cover format was changed. During 1897 this format was printed in a number of different colors. Some are shown here.

All of the titles in this series are reprints. This book only has nominal value.

02 Aug 2015 130

Marqueterie Series

Q:  This is a book I received in my great aunt’s estate. It is published in 1895 by Henry Altemus, Philadelphia. The picture attached is true to the colors. Holmes' Poems
Does it have any value?

A:  This book is part of the Marqueterie Series. These volumes were published only in one format in 1899. All of the titles in this series are reprints.

The books are not very common but only a few very collectible titles have any significant value. Your book only has nominal value.

01 Aug 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Can you tell me what this book might be worth?

The Last Essays of Elia by Charles Lamb
Published by Henry Altemus, Philadelphia
Copyright 1899

A picture of the cover is attached. The book is in very good condition.

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1901. It is a reprint as are all of the titles of this series. During 1901 these volumes' covers were published in a number of different colors with more than 40 different appliqué pictures being possible. They were sold within a labeled box.

Since your book is a reprint of a not very collectible title, it only has nominal value.

Some books from this series are shown here.

31 Jul 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Can you identify this book? Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

A:  This book is from the Vademecum Series and was published in 1904. As with all of the titles in this series, it is a reprint.

In 1904 this cover was published in a number of colors. In addition four different appliqué flower pictures were used. It originally was sold within a labeled box. See here.

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Last Revision: April 25, 2017