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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
21 Mar 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have The Merchant of Venice, with The Adventures of Giannetto, and other Illustrative Pieces. There are no dates, and the book itself is small in size. I bought it at an antique shop and was curious about how old it is and if it has any value other than how much I like it. Can you assist me?

A:  This book was published in 1903 as part of the Vademecum Series. This series is comprised of numerous reprints of fiction, essays, poetry, etc. The cover of this format has been seen in numerous colors. In addition the painting on the cover of your book is one of more than forty that have been noted.

These books originally came within a labeled box. An example is shown here.


20 Mar 2014 202

Young People's Library

Q:  This book (Rip Van Winkle) has been in my possession for over 50 years, given to me by my Mother and I was wondering if it has any value, other than sentimental? Thank you for any information you can give me.

A:  This book is part of the Series 202 the Young People's Library, Format 3. Originally it had a dust jacket. This format was published between 1903 and 1923. All of the titles of this series were published originally with a dust jacket.

Unless the title has special significance to collectors, there is little value. Your book is in this category.

Of unrelated interest is the variant cover that has been noted. It is shown here. It is common for Altemus to vary some colors on the cover of a book that is published over many years.


19 Mar 2014 57

Boys and Girls Classics Series

Q:  Hi there,
Looking at your website, I was able to find a similar book cover - but not quite the same linen print. This one that has been in the family since 1911 (inscribed as a gift)

Can you tell me a bit more about the book? Is it part of series 57? sw-1 seems to be the best match. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


A:  You are right. This book is part of the fifteen book Boys and Girls Classics Series. This series was published between 1908 and 1926. The books mostly used the same internal text as well as the title pages from the earlier Young People's Library books. Your book as well as the others of this series originally came within a labeled floral decorated box (shown here).

A number of different linen cover patterns have been seen. They are shown on the series page. I have arbitrarily numbered them -yours is "Swatch 1". I believe it is the most common of the various covers. It was published from 1908 until the early teens.


18 Mar 2014 185

Wee Books for Wee Folks

Q:  Dear Altemus book expert,
I recently acquired this very old and also very tattered version of Peter Rabbit. I am almost afraid to touch this book. I am not a collector although, I might have just become one. This book has made me quite confused and I have a couple questions I was hoping you could answer since you were the publisher. Can you please guide me as to what exactly I should do with this book to preserve it, what I should do if I keep it, and how do I go about selling this book to somebody and also in finding its value?


A:  The Tale of Peter Rabbit appeared initially in the six book Wee Books for Wee Folks Series.

Altemus published Peter Rabbit in three different formats. The first format which is the rarest was published only in 1904. It is pictured here. It has line drawn pictures on the end papers. Originally it was sold boxed with the Foolish Fox book. It is 5.5 x 4.25.

Your book is the first American edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It is certainly the rarest of the Altemus Peter Rabbit books and generally the most valuable. Unfortunately, it probably would cost more to repair this book than it is worth. For more information see ../peter_rabbit/peterrabbit.htm


17 Mar 2014 202

Young People's Library

Q:  Hi can you send me information regarding the attached book (Grimm's Fairy Tales). The cover is not shown in your posting.

A:  The Young People's Library is a series of books for juveniles. There were four formats which are easily distinguished by their covers and spines. This book which has the appliqué on the front cover is part of Format 4. This format was published between 1923 and 1933. Because of this ten year span, these books are relatively common. The dust jacket matches the book's cover.

This cover as well as other pictures of the books in this series are shown here: ../series/series202F4.htm


16 Mar 2014 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Hi – I found this old book of my Grandmothers, and I was wondering if it’s worth hanging on to. It’s Paradise Lost Vol 1 with a copyright of 1899. It’s not in great shape. See attached picture. Thanks for your time!

A:  This book was published in 1899-1900. As with most of the Petit Trianon books, the left side of the cover has a stereotyped pattern and the right half of the front cover has various different patterns. In some years it is floral and in other years more decorative. So far 27 different patterns have been seen with this format. See ../series/series143.htm for pictures. This years' titles also came in a labeled box.


23 Feb 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Would you kindly tell me if this book (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) has any value....(aside from the bountiful wisdom within!)

Inside page says "Philadelphia. Henry Altemus Company". So it is apparently post 1900
Book measures 6.25 x 4.25
I can't find any dates whatsoever.

Thank you very much.


A:  Your book was published between 1909 and 1912 as part of the Vademecum Series.

It originally came in a labeled box. An example is shown here.

All the books in this series are reprints so unless your book has a very collectable title it will have only nominal value.


21 Feb 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I found this black beauty book in my storage... could you tell me more about it?

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was originally sold within a labeled box. It was published in 1903.

It is a reprint and has limited value.

The painting on the front comes from a larger picture. You can see details here: ../vademecum.htm


17 Feb 2014 57

Boys and Girls Classics

Q:  Hi there,
I found this unique book (Rip Van Winkle) at a local antique shop, and living in the Hudson Valley, I couldn't resist to pick this up. Do you have more information about this edition of the book, and how rare is it relative to other books published by the company? Thanks!


A:  Hello,
Your book is part of the 15 volume Boys and Girls Classics Series.

The sailboat picture cover was seen between 1908 and the early teens. These books were originally sold within a floral papered labeled box.

This series used the plates from the earlier published Young Peoples Library Series. That is why the title page notes that series.
These books are relatively common.


12 Feb 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  May I have some info on this book and its estimated value? Thank you
UNCLE TOM'S CABIN illustrated copyright 1894 green cover with lighthouse


A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1901. It originally came with a labeled box. The books of this format have been seen with a number of different cover colors and more than forty different cover pictures.

Your book is a reprint and has limited value. There are a number of collectors however of this title so you never know what someone might pay.


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