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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
18 Jun 2014 69

Classics Series

Q:  Just want to get an estimated price for this book of Edgar Allen Poe’s Poems. The book is really in quite good condition, about the only thing I can tell is the spine is a little loose near the top. None of the pages seem to be loose.

A:  This book is part of the Classics (or Slip in the Pocket Classics Series) This format was published between 1907 and the early teens. It originally came with a dust jacket. An examples is shown here.

All the Altemus Poe books are reprints. There is quite a market however for these reprints despite the fact that they are relatively common. Estimating a value is tough. I have seen this book sell for a couple of dollars as well as $25 plus.


17 Jun 2014 47

Beauxarts Series

Q:  My mother in law and I found this Black Beauty. We see no date except on the decorative inside but you explained that is not an accurate date to go on because they were included in reprints but saw the art worked dated it to 1897. We are unsure how to see if this is a reprint and not even sure any value would be out on it do to the damage on the wrong. I was hoping you could help explain this to us. Thank you so much for your time.

A:  Your book is part of the Beauxarts Series. This publisher's series is comprised only of reprints. This cover pattern was published in a number of colors in 1897. It originally came within a labeled box.

Black Beauty was reprinted numerous times by different firms in this era. Most of the reprints have little value.

The 1842 date in the pattern on the title page indicates when Altemus and Company began their bookbinding business. It has nothing to do with this particular book and its publication date.


16 Jun 2014 146

Poems We Love Series

Q:  Hi. Just found your website. Incredible help and very thorough. Thanks for putting it up. I recently acquired a copy of Barrack Room Ballads and Ditties. I know price is subjective but in your opinion what is a reasonable price?

A:  This book is part of the ten book Poems We Love Series. Each of these limp velvet calf books were published in either green or brown calf and originally came within a labeled box. (See example here). They were published between 1912 and 1915 and all are reprint editions. $10 is not unreasonable.


15 Jun 2014

Non Series #128

Q:  I have attached pictures of a book (She Who Will Not When She May By Eleanor Walton) I have had from an estate sale for sometime now. I bought it for 1.00 and was wondering how much it would be worth?

It says Copyright 1898 By Henry Altemus (Philadelphia)

I would say the book in general is in good vintage condition. It is hardcover and the black and white picture in the front has fallen out (but I have kept it with the book). Other than that is just has a few minor stains on cover and some spotting on the top pages of the book when closed.

Thank you for your time.


A:  Three editions of this book were published by Altemus (not including the boxed ooze calf editions). Unfortunately you have not sent me a picture of the title page. The first edition's imprint states Henry Altemus whereas the later editions show Henry Altemus Company as the imprint. Further distinguishing features can be found here: ../images/NS_128.htm.

All three editions have similar designs on the front cover- only the colors are different. See examples.

In average to poor shape this book is probably worth $10-20.


14 Jun 2014 37

Altemus Library

Q:  I have a book by Sir John Lubbock called the Pleasures of Life dated 1893 complete can you tell if this is rare and what is it worth?

A:  This book is part of the Altemus Library. This series is interesting because it is the only Altemus publisher's series that has a different cover for each title. The series is also the earliest of all the Altemus publisher's series. The books were printed between 1892-1895. These books all originally came with difficult to find dust jackets. A couple of examples from the series are shown on the series page.

All of the titles however are reprints and unless the author or particular title is especially coveted, the books have little value. Your book is not very collectible and is in poor shape. It has no real monetary value.


04 Jun 2014 99

Golden Treasury Series

Q:  I acquired this book (Christian Living) and was wondering if you could give me any information on it.

A:  Your book is part of the Golden Treasury Series. It was published in 1899. Different color covers have been seen.

It is a reprint and has only nominal value.


03 Jun 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Hello, I came across this old book (The House of the Seven Gables) and was wanting a little info and if it holds any value? Thank you for your time.

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1901.

These 1901 books came in a number of different colors. More than 43 different cover appliqués have been seen. The books originally came within labeled box.

Only very collectible titles have any real value. Your book is not one of them. It only has nominal value.


02 Jun 2014 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  I don’t know if it’s of any interest, but this tome resides in my home library: Black Beauty, Henry Altemus Publishing, 4”x6” format, B&W drawings, 254 numbered pages. Yet another undated version?

A:  This book was published originally in a labeled box (a box is shown here) in 1897. All the books of the Vademecum Series (like this one) are reprints.

During 1897 this cover format was published with several different colors.


01 Jun 2014 202

Young People's Library, Format 1

Q:  Rarity? Value? Thank you. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

A:  I am asked about the Altemus versions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass frequently.

All of Altemus' formats are reprints and there are quite a number of them. All are described here: ../alice/alice.htm.

These titles are very collectible. The value of course is in the eyes of the beholder. Of interest is that the format that frequently sells (and is listed) for significant money is extremely common. That cover is from the Young People's Library Format 2 and 3. This book is listed with the copyright of 1897 but most copies advertised for sale were actually published in the teens.

The very common cover 1898-1923 version here

Your book is from the first format of the Young People's Library. It is scarcer than the book with the queen on the cover.


31 May 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Found this book (Balzac's Shorter Stories) and cannot find any information on it. Curiosity has gotten the best of me.

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1901. See ../vademecum.htm

In 1901 this series was published in at least seven cover colors. More than 43 paste-ons (appliqués) have been seen. For more information see the website noted above.


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