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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
28 Feb 2015 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Through some research online, I finally stumbled upon your website. Hopefully you can help. Over some time I've had this book (Uncle Tom's Cabin) on my shelf and have been trying to find exactly when it was published and if it is of any value. There's an inscription inside dating back to 1901. I hope that you will have some answers. I attached images of the cover, spine, inscription, and a few illustrations.

A:  Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1901-1902. It was originally published within a labeled box. During this year the lady on the left was published in blue, pink and beige. Examples here. On the right half of the cover one of sixteen flowers were pictured.

It only has nominal value.


27 Feb 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Dear Sir:
I have a copy of Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass” I have studied your web site (and your warnings about false claims on e-bay) and not been able to locate a similar edition. If I decide to sell the book (which I assume to be not very valuable), I do not want to misrepresent it. I am attaching photos of the cover, cover interior, the frontispiece and front illustration, some illustrations and some of the advertising (209 numbered pages, together with Altemus published by Henry Altemus advertising of books in various series). If you can tell me when it was published and whether it was part of a series, I would be most appreciative.


A:  Your book is from the Vademecum Series and was published in 1900. It originally came in a labeled box. In 1900 the covers in this series were stereotypical but have been seen in various colors. Some examples are shown here.

Most of the books from this series are not very valuable but there are Lewis Carroll collectors out there who may find your book very desirable.

I smiled when I saw your address. I graduated from Northwestern back in 1971. Of course, that was when Evanston was really a sleepy little town.


25 Feb 2015 162

Sanspareil Series

Q:  Hello, I was wondering if you could provide any information about this particular copy of Byron's 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'.

A:  Your book is part of the Sanspareil Series and was published in 1898.

All of the titles in this series are reprints. It originally came with a dust jacket. A representative dust jacket is shown on the series page. It has nominal value.


23 Feb 2015 202

Young People's Library

Q:  I was going through some old family property and found this edition of Through the Looking Glass. I was wondering if you have an insight on its value and the other books that may accompany it.

A:  Your book is part of the Young People's Library, Format 2. It was published between 1898-1900. It originally had a dust jacket. Henry Altemus incorporated in 1900 so your book had to be published in 1900 or earlier.

You can date it exactly by looking at the dating information here: http://www.henryaltemus.com/series/series202F2.htm

This is a very collectible book although it generally does not sell for as much as Carroll's Alice book.

Even though it is quite common, I have seen it sell for anywhere between $10-100. This price range is inexplicable.


21 Feb 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have found an old printing of “The House of the Seven Gables”. It does not indicate if it is a part of a series. It is small, pocket size. I have reviewed your page on the Altemus company trying to find the book. I can see it was printed many times. What puzzles me is the forward, by Henry Tuckerman, has Nathaniel Hawthorne -- 1807 -- There is no death date. This would lead me to believe it was published before his death (1864), but I see no such listing in your page. I also have "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table". Any thoughts?

A:  Both of these books rare part of the Vademecum Series and were published in 1903. They originally came within a labeled box. All of the titles in this publisher's series are reprints.

The appliqués on the front cover are parts of different European paintings. Altemus would cut up these paintings into usable slices and put different ones randomly onto different books. This process is shown at: http://www.henryaltemus.com/vademecum.htm An example is seen with the picture on your "Autocrat" book. Note the more complete picture which encompasses your book's appliqué.


19 Feb 2015 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  I'm hoping you can give me some information on this book I recently bought from a used book store. Tales from Shakespeare. Thank you.

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1896 despite the inscription. It originally was published with a labeled box. All of the titles in this publisher's series were reprints. It only has nominal value.


17 Feb 2015 58

Boys and Girls Classics

Q:  I would like to know something about this book (A Christmas Carol) if you could help. The first 4 pages are missing so I have know idea the year it was published, and can’t find one to compare it to.
Thank you for any help you can give me.


A:  Your book is part of the Boys and Girls Classics Series.

This book style was published between 1899 and 1906 and originally came within a labeled box. Your book can be dated rather accurately by looking at the ads in the back of the book and checking the dating information on the series page noted above. As you know this title is a late reprint as the first edition was published in 1844.


31 Jan 2015 75

Devotional Series

Q:  Hi, I have the book in the attachment (Kept for the Master's Use). I am going to sell it on eBay for a client and I want to have an accurate listing. I have not found this cover in any of the images that I have researched. I believe that it is probably from the Nouvue series but I have found no date in the book. I would appreciate any information that you can give me. Is this book scarce?

A:  Your book is from the Devotional Series.

It was originally sold with a labeled box in the 1901-1904 era.

Interestingly, this format has been seen with different appliqué pictures within the front cover decorative design.

Although the exact title in this exact format is uncommonly found, it is also not a title that is hard to find in numerous formats and it is not a book that is in great demand.


14 Jan 2015 202

Young People's Library

Q:  I have attached pictures of a book (A Child's Life of Christ) I have and am wondering if you have any idea of the value. It looks like, from the description on your website, it is a 1st Edition? Anyway, please take a look and see what you think!

A:  Your book is part of The Young People's Library, Format 1. It was published in 1895. There were two 1895 editions. The earlier one (yours) has only six books listed on the copyright page. Later 1895 editions have a book list that ends with Gulliver's Travels.

It is not a widely collected title and in average shape it has only nominal value.


12 Jan 2015 78

Dore's Masterpieces

Q:  Dear Sir/Ma’am,
My husband gave me a book he got from an estate sale titled “The Dore Bible Gallery” illustrated by Gustave Dore. It is signed as a gift from Uncle Ed Christmas 1888 and on the title page it has:
Philadelphia
Henry Altemus
507, 509, 511 and 513 Cherry Street

I would guess that it was published in 1887 but if you have any more information that would be helpful, it would be greatly appreciated.

I will insert the pictures for you to reference.

The book is 9.5 x 12 and has the same imprint as shown on format 1 #1 but it’s color is doesn’t match these. It is the same color as the second book on the third row (the grayer light blue) It’s also dated by the gift giver as 1888 but the text says they are published 1889 and later. Any input?


A:  See Dore's Masterpieces for information on your book.

These books were published in numerous colors. The colors shown on the website are the ones I have but are not all of the possible colors.

Books were frequently released for sale around Christmas time. The 1889 books would have been for sale starting in December, 1888. So the inscription makes sense.


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