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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
05 Jul 2014 57

Boys and Girls Classics

Q:  Hello! I am attaching a few photos of a copy of Grimms Fairy Tales that I recently came across in an old book store here locally. Title page says Henry Altemus Company Philadelphia and on the back side of that it says Copyright 1898 by Henry Altemus (below). There is no dust jacket. Front cover, as you can see from the photo, has two kids in a wagon. They are being pulled by a donkey, but all you can see from the pic is the donkey's butt lol! They look very 20's or 30's style animation, so I guess it is a later printing, esp since on your site it said if the title page said Henry Altemus Company on it, the book prob dates after 1900. I could not however, find a book that looked the same as this one on your site anywhere. Was trying to find out what series/printing it was. I took a photo of the front cover (again, no dust jacket), title page, and copyright page. Hopefully that will help. Can you give me any more info about it? Not at all concerned with value, as it has no dust jacket and is not in great shape...I just think old books are interesting :)

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

The books of this 15 title series all have the same text as the earlier published titles in the Young People's Library. They were published between 1908 and 1926. The date can be determined by studying the book ads in the back.

These books have pictorial linen covers that are made from large swatches. The books originally were sold within labeled floral covered boxes. See the representative picture here.


24 Jun 2014 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  I'm wondering if you can tell me anything about this book (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) the picture is of the cover and the publisher page thank you.

A:  Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1907. It originally came within a labeled box. All of the 117 titles in this series are reprints. During this year the acorn picture cover had four different flower appliqués. The other flowers in addition to a representative box are shown on the series page.

It is a reprint and only has nominal value.


23 Jun 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have a copy of Black Beauty from your publishing company. I am curious as to its age and value. I believe it may have belonged to my father who was born in 1921 or maybe it was handed down to him by a parent. It is in good condition and doesn't smell. One of the pictures has come apart from the binding, but it is not lost. Thank you for any information you can give me.

A:  Your book was published in 1903 as part of the Vademecum Series. It originally came in a labeled box. It is a reprint.

Although this is a popular title, there are countless numbers of these reprints floating around. So your book has only nominal value.

During this year, the books in this series have been seen with a number of different cover colors. More than 40 different cover appliqués have been noted. Generally the painting on the cover is only part of a larger picture. Various sections of a painting appeared on the book covers.

See this page for more information: ../vademecum.htm


22 Jun 2014 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have the book, Emerson's Essay's. The cover reads Emerson's Essays the spine adds First Series and the title page reads Essays By Ralph Waldo Emerson First Series Philadelphia Henry Altemus 1894.

I can't find any info on the web, can you tell me what it is worth and any other info about it?


A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series. It was published in 1894 and is a reprint.

During this year the cover has been seen in various colors.

In great condition this book is hard to sell. In poor condition, it has no collector value.


19 Jun 2014 75

Devotional Series

Q:  I am interested in knowing more about one of my mom's books (The Prince of the House of David). I cannot find a publishing date. There is no dust cover, nor are there any other books with it.

I have seen info on your site about similar books in the Beauxarts Series (Series 47), but I have not seen a cover like the one I have.
Any info would be greatly appreciated - especially the date it was published - if possible. Thank you for your time and how much you help people.


A:  Your book is part of the Devotional Series.

This format was published between 1898 and 1924. The cover has been seen in several colors. It originally came within a labeled box. An example is shown here.

The date of publication can be approximated by analyzing the ads in the back of the book.


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.


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Last Revision: August 16, 2017