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The following are questions submitted via email by our visitors.

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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
09 Apr 2013 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  The only date (unfortunately) is in an inscription for 1898. There is also a small sticker in lower left corner of front cover that says supplied by W.F. Purnell, Sacramento.

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series. This series of reprints was published between 1894 and 1926. The cover design changed each year or so. Your book was published in 1897. This book has been seen in several different colors.


03 Apr 2013 0

Platt and Munk Wee Books for Wee Folks

Q:  Hi…. I have what appears to be a set of Wee Books For Wee Folks published by Platt & Munk, most of which have a copyright date of 1935 although not all. There are 28 books. I’m not sure if they should have dust jackets or if they came without them. The books are in a little bookcase which has no markings but seems to be made for them. And of course I am wondering what their value would be.

A:  They all came with dust jackets originally. But when they were sold as this bookcase set, I am not certain that the jackets were included. It looks like you have the later reprints. For a general review of the Platt and Munk reprints see ../reprints/platt.html

You obviously have a nice set although the absence of any dust jackets does reduce the value significantly.

The Sambo and Peter Rabbit books are the most collectible.

Although I cannot be certain, I believe your little book case is original and was made for the set. I say that because I have one that is identical with most of the books that are in your set.

Value is a hard question. Your set is great and looks to be in wonderful shape. Having said that the interest is somewhat limited. Certainly $100 is not unreasonable and perhaps more if the right buyer happens to see them. Appreciate that if you sell them separately a number of them will be very difficult to unload at any price.


02 Apr 2013 57

Boys and Girls Classics

Q:  Hello! Are you able to tell me if this is an Altemus first edition (Through the Looking Glass)? I am not able to locate this cover decoration on your website; the spine and rear-board also are decorated in color with a continuation of the front board decoration. The book is “Copyright 1897”; and there is a 1909 gift inscription. Your website is very helpful, and I have used it several times over the years.

I look forward to your reply. Thanks and best wishes.


A:  Your book can be found at Boys and Girls Classics.

The exact picture is labeled swatch 6 and is shown in the picture section.

The books of this series are not Altemus firsts but rather reprints of the earlier Young People's Library but with different covers.

Each book originally came in a floral decorated box. An example of the box is shown on the series page.


01 Apr 2013 114

Kipling Series

Q:  I have the complete set of 1899 Kipling Series 114 books, no jackets in amazing condition. Are you able to give an insurance estimate to replace, or can you point me to someone in AZ who can? I also have other antique books I need to have evaluated.
Thank you in advance for your time.


A:  This is a relatively uncommon Altemus series. The titles were only published between 1899 ands 1901 in one format. The books originally came with dust jackets but the jackets are very scarce. A picture of a representative jacket (front cover and reverse) is shown on the series page.

I think it is reasonable to price the 21 book set between $300 and $400.

Of course, it might take a while to sell them.

For more information see Kipling Series.


31 Mar 2013 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  I am hoping you can help me date and get a possible value on this book. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. No date. I have included a photo of cover and inside with publisher name.
Thank you for any help you can give me.


A:  Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1903-1904.

Each year the books of this series had a different cover. So identifying the year of publication can be done accurately.

During 1903-1904 the Petit Trianon Series books had covers that had a stereotyped pedestal decoration on the left side of the cover. This decoration came in pink, blue, and beige. On the right half of the cover was one of sixteen flower pictures.

Although there are many Black Beauty collectors, there is nothing that makes this particular copy stand out. It is a reprint without great illustrations. So to get more than a few dollars will depend on finding that one collector who has to have this format.


23 Mar 2013 69

Classics Series

Q:  Hello, Can you identify and date this book for me? (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)

A:  This book is part of the Classics Series. It was published between 1907 and 1910. The only way to determine the exact year is by studying its dust jacket. The list of titles on the back of the jacket changed with the year of publication. Without the jacket the book's publication date can only be approximated.


22 Mar 2013 146

Poems We Love Series

Q:  I have an older suede leather bound book titled A Child's Garden Of Verses. Can you tell me the year it was published and the approximate value? I have attached photos.

A:  Your book is part of the Poems We Love Series.

It was published between 1912 and 1915. Originally all of the books in this series came in a labeled box. An example is shown here.

This book only has nominal value.


18 Mar 2013 98

Golden Treasury of Religious Thought

Q:  I have a first edition “Gold Dust” (“A Collection of Golden Counsels for the Sanctification of Daily Life – Translated and Abridged From the French by E.L.E.B.”), “Edited by Charlotte M Yonge, Copyrighted 1897 by Henry Altemus” – “To E.B.H. This Little Book is Most Lovingly Dedicated”.
It was given to my Great Aunt for Christmas 1898 and is so inscribed. It is in pretty good condition (no loose pages or darkening on pages). Can you please tell me what it may be worth? An earlier post mentions that these books (series) were not published until after 1907. However, if I am to believe the publish date and personal inscription, this one is prior to that time?
Thank you for any assistance you are able to give.


A:  Your book was published in 1898 and is part of the Golden Treasury of Religious Thought Series.

You will note that this book originally came with a dust jacket.

Altemus published this title numerous times in many different series. The Altemus editions are reprints. I know of 1880 editions of this book published by Dutton in the US and by an English publisher.

It is unlikely you could get more a than a few dollars for your book.


15 Mar 2013 50

Belles Lettres Series

Q:  Can you help me with the age and possible value. I have found a lot of similar items but not this exact one.. Nature and Art. Ralph Waldo Emerson. There are no dates at all. None. There is a 507 509 511 513 Cherry street Philadelphia and a price of .25 per volume. The front cover is very nice in green and silver foil like printing. The corners are rough. The inside is perfect and the spine is in thread. Any info would be appreciated.

A:  This book is part of the Belles Lettres Series and was published in 1896.

The 31 titles in this series are all reprints and have little value. During the three year publication of this series six cover formats were published.


13 Mar 2013 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Hello, I have a book (see attached pictures) and I am wondering how old it is. I think, from what I've read, it's about 1880. Fairy Land of Science, Author: Arabella B. Buckley

Any information you can provide would be appreciated.

No Inscription or publishing date

Last Entry in book is:
Publications of Henry Altemus Company (Heading)
..Baby's Requirements By Elisabeth R. Scovil. 16mo, 25c.


A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published between 1909 and 1912. As with all of the books of this series, it is a reprint and since it is not a very collectible title, has only nominal value. It originally came in a red labeled box. An example of the box is shown here.


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