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The following are questions submitted via email by our visitors.

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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
06 Apr 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Hi, I stumbled upon this copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin but unfortunately I've been unable to find any information on it. Can you give me any info you have on it, should I keep it, does it have any value, and if so where would I sell it. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated and thanks for your time.

A:  This book was published in 1901 as part of the Vademecum Series. It originally came within a labeled box. It is one of a myriad of reprints of this title that were done by the reprint publishers of the era. It has little value.

This 1901 Altemus format has been seen with many color covers. More than forty paste-on (appliqués) pictures have been noted. See: ../vademecum.htm

05 Apr 2014 163

Sanspareil Series

Q:  Hello there Sir, so I'm a fairly novice book collector and recently my uncle passed and left me this beautiful Altemus book of Weird Tales. It looks like one of the later series of reprints but the 1895 copyright page confused me. Is that because when they reprinted they reprint everything including the original copyright page? Anyways any help identifying would be appreciated, thanks!

A:  This book was published in 1899 as part of the Sanspareil Series. It originally came with a dust jacket, an example of which is shown here. All the books in this series are reprints.

The 1895 on the Altemus copyright page indicates either when this title was first published by Altemus or when this edition was first published by Altemus. Unfortunately this can make it difficult to know what you have in terms of whether your book is a reprint or an actual first edition. The publisher's series' titles that Altemus published are all reprints. This includes your book.

26 Mar 2014 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  The Sketch Book Washington Irving
I cannot find any copyright, printing or date within the book. I'm hoping that you can help me date it. approx size is: 6.50 x 4.50 inches
Thank you

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series. This publisher's series included only reprints of books of fiction, essays, poetry, etc. Your book was published in 1898. During that year the books were sold within a labeled box. There was only one cover format but it has been seen in a number of different colors. Some are shown on the series page.

25 Mar 2014 184

Waistcoat Pocket Series

Q:  My mother was given this book (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) and I found it going through some of her things. Could you tell me anything about it?

A:  This book is part of the Waistcoat Pocket Series.

The ten book series was published between 1906 and 1921. These miniature books came in several formats and sizes. They all were originally sold within a labeled box. An example of a box is shown here. Covers of limp lambskin, velvet calf and boards have all been seen.

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.

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Last Revision: March 19, 2018