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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.

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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
09 Aug 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I recently came into possession of an old book entitled Heroes and Hero Worship by Thomas Carlyle. It doesn't have a copyright date and is in pretty poor shape as I don't think it was well taken care of. Could you please enlighten me as to when it may have been published?

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in the 1909-1912 timeframe. All of the titles within this series are reprints.

It originally came in a labeled box. A representative box is shown here.


05 Aug 2014 131

Mother Goose Series

Q:  Hello from what I have found on your site I have in my possession a copy of format 1 #11 The Sleeping Beauty and Other Stories. It is in fair condition considering its age. I am looking to sell this book and wondering what a fair price would be to ask for it. Since you are the expert on all things Henry Altemus I figured you would be the person to ask. I don't want to swindle anyone by over pricing it just looking to sell it to someone who will appreciate it.

Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated.


A:  This twelve book series was published in three different formats. The earliest (your book) covers have a vellum decoration on the left third of the cover which has been seen in blue, red, green or dark beige. The right half has a book appropriate pictorial picture within an oval. The dust jacket matches the left decoration but the right is plain (see here). The books are 96 pages.

The second format is the same as the first format except that the vellum decoration is beige and the books are only 64 pages.

The third format cover has a pictorial book appropriate picture.

These books can be hard to sell if they are not in great shape and/or do not have a dust jacket. Anything more than a few dollars would be a good sale for you.

For more information see Mother Goose Series


03 Aug 2014 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  Hello, I have a copy of The Last Letters of Elia but cannot find a publication date. Can you please help? There are covers and it looks lick blue roses intertwined on the front cover.

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1897.

This publisher's series consisted only of reprinted titles. Generally the covers are distinctive and indicate what year the book was published in. Your cover is an 1897 cover. It was printed in a number of different colors. A few examples are shown on the series page.

It was originally sold in a labeled box. An example is here.


27 Jul 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have this book (In Memoriam) and wondered if you could tell me it's worth. It has a name written in it and 1907. Attached are 2 pictures. It is in very good shape.

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1903.

During this year the cover has been seen in a number of different colors and over 40 appliqués have been noted. It was published within a labeled box. A sample is shown here.

All of the titles in this series are reprints. This title is not widely collected or desired and thus it has only nominal value.


21 Jul 2014 162

Sanspareil Series

Q:  Hello, I have found three books that my great great grandfather must have dated 1898 and I am wondering if they have any value. I have attached the cover same for all three.
1. "Sator Restartus" by Thomas Carlyle
2. "Mulvaney Stories" by Rudyard Kipling
3. Poems by Oliver Wendell Holmes
thanks for any info you have!


A:  Your books are part of the Sanspareil Series. They were published in 1898 and originally had dust jackets. See series page for an example.

All of the titles in this series are reprints.

Since none of your books have very desirable/collectible titles, they only have nominal value.


20 Jul 2014 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  I can only send a picture of the cover with difficulty, if you might have patience...I have a small ochre book entitled Poe's Poems, published by Henry Altemus out of Philadelphia, 1895, with illustrative engravings. It has gold stripes and gold floral wreath & decorative flowers on the cover. Do you have any knowledge of this book? thank you!

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1896.

It is a reprint.


19 Jul 2014 69

Classics Series

Q:  Hello, is this a valuable book (Evangeline)? It belonged to my Great Aunt Cora who was a school teacher.

A:  The Classics Series was published between 1907 and 1909 and consisted of 76 reprinted titles. Your book's format originally came with dust jackets. A representative dust jacket picture is shown here.

These books were published in a number formats and yours is the most commonly seen of the five.

Unless the title is one that is very desired and collectible, it generally is a hard sell for more than a few dollars.


18 Jul 2014 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  This book has 1896 inscribed inside to Bradley from Aunt Mary. I am hoping to find out more about this book, when it was published etc. It is a copy of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.

Appreciate any help you can provide in gaining more information about this book.


A:  Your book is part of the long running (1894-1926) Vademecum Series. This publisher's series of reprints generally had a different cover during each year of publication (up until the 1908 and later era).

Your book was published in 1896 and originally was sold within a labeled box. Several cover colors have been seen.


17 Jul 2014 22

Meadow-Brook Girls Series

Q:  Can you tell me what edition and possible value? The Meadow-Brook Girls by the Sea

A:  The titles in this six book series were first published in 1913 and 1914. The first two formats have the same cover as your book. They are distinguished by the dust jackets. See: Meadow-Brook Girls Series

The third format has a full cover appliqué. The third format was published beginning in 1924. The first two were printed between 1913-1924.

Without a dust jacket, the books of this series have little value. In poor shape, they are hard to sell at any price.

The various jacket formats are shown on the series page.


11 Jul 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Dear Expert, I found Black Beauty at a garage sale and its always been one of my favorites. But this one has no copyright date. I know it's a reprint by Henry Altemus Co. Philadelphia and I believe it's from the Vademecum series but my eyes are starting to cross from so much info. The front cover has a tear but the picture looks like grass or wheat. I sure could use your help in drawing. Thank you.

A:  You are right about your book. It is from the Vademecum Series and was published in 1901.

Here is the entire picture. For more info: ../vademecum.htm


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