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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
31 Mar 2010 162

Sanspareil Series

Q:  I just found this book in a box of old books of my Grandmother. Title is "House of Seven Gables" published by Henry Altemus Manufacture, Philadelphia. There is no publishing date. What can you tell me about it?? Is it worth taking to a book dealer or trying to sell it on e-bay?

A:  This book is part of the Sanspareil Series. The books of this publisher's series of reprints originally had dust jackets.

Your book can be found here: Series 162

It was published in 1898.

It has only nominal value.


30 Mar 2010 79

Esperance Series

Q:  I have a copy of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Altemus Esperance Series, in the original box. Henry Altemus Company 1896. Green with embossed leaves, the title in gold. Someone has inscribed it on an inside cover page "To dear Bessie with love from cousin Carrie, Christmas 1912, and included a gift card inscribed Bessie. Other than that it is in pristine condition. The box is very, very good with only one small tear to the edge. The original label is on the box in very very good condition. How would I go about finding the value and selling it?

A:  This book and series can be found at Esperance Series
Books of this series with the original box usually sell for between $10-50.

In fairness though, you really just never know regarding the top or bottom of the price range.

I have included a picture of a box and a book from this series the questioner did not provide a picture for me.


29 Mar 2010 184

Waistcoat Pocket Series

Q:  I would like some information about my Henry Altemus Co. book. I could not find it on your website...

It is a suede bound small book called "Songs of Shakespeare" Philadelphia copyright 1906 by Henry Altemus. It is still in the box, covered with a sheer paper cover, the edges and title are gold gilt. It is a collection of sayings from characters in Shakespeare's works. I don't think it's ever been fully out of the box.

It is only 4.5" x 3".


A:  Your book is part of the Waistcoat Pocket Series and can be found here in the Format 3 books: Series 184

Usually these books bring only nominal dollars but with a nicely labeled box it might sell for as much as $20-35.


21 Mar 2010 57

Boys and Girls Classics

Q:  I am hoping that you will be able to tell me a little something about a book I have that belonged to my grandmother. I have been searching the internet but haven't found anything that has the same cover as mine. It is an 1897 copy of Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking Glass", cloth covered. I have attached some pictures.

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks so much.


A:  Your book is part of the Boys and Girls Classics. See Series 57. You can see in the pictures covers that match yours.

It was published in sometime between 1908-1926. The ads in the back can help you determine exactly when.

The books of this series originally came in a floral decorated box which can be seen in the picture section.


10 Mar 2010 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Can you date this book for me?
Author Rowson, Mrs. Susanna (Haswell), 1762-1824
Title Charlotte Temple


A:  Your book was published as part of the Petit Trianon Series.

It was published in 1905-1906.

See Series 143


09 Mar 2010 146

Poems We Love Series

Q:  The book, Thanatopsis and Other Poems, is in my possession and I would like more information on how much this book is worth. Please see picture attached. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

A:  Your book can be found here-- Series 146

It is part of the Poems We Love Series. It originally came in a labeled box.

It has only nominal value.


08 Mar 2010 78

Dore's Masterpieces Series

Q:  My book (Dante's Purgatory and Paradise) looks identical to your picture that I added below. Do you know how much it may be worth? As you had mentioned on your website, the book has no publishing date. The binding has not been well maintained but the pages look good other than some browning around the edges. Thank you very much for your help.

A:  This book usually sells between $25-100 when it is auctioned on Ebay.

More information can be found at Dore's Masterpieces Series.


07 Mar 2010 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  I was given this book. It has been in my family and passed down. Written in it is Miss Leah Ridd Christmas 1902. I am trying to find out exactly when it was published.

A:  Your book is part of the publisher's reprint series-the Vademecum Series.

It was published in 1897.

It can be seen here: Series 179


06 Mar 2010 202

Young People's Library Format 4

Q:  I recently purchased an antique copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland on ebay.. And looking at the cover i realized i have never see that style before.. So i googled different cover styles and i came across your site where you mention all the different errors ebay sellers make. And i noticed what you said made their description was completely wrong about the printing date.. I'm going to post you a picture of the book and paste the info the ebay seller had put about it.. I wanted to know if you have ever seen this cover before? Because I can't find it anywhere...

A:  I had seen this book on Ebay. You can find your cover here (Book #2 Variant): Series 202 Format 4

It is a nice "Alice" book just not a very early one. It is quite easy to see that the date is way off by looking at all the ads in the back. You will see a number of books listed there which were published for the first time in the 1920's.

Even with the dust jacket this book generally does not command this dollar amount.

Unfortunately many sellers see the copyright date and mistake it for the publication date.

The most common of all the Altemus "Alice's" can be found in the Young People's Library. There is seldom a time on Ebay where several of them are being auctioned.

See Young People's Library.


05 Mar 2010 64

Children's Gift Series

Q:  False description of Alice in Wonderland book on Ebay

I received two questions about a particular book up for auction on Ebay. The price was going through the roof but the description of the book was totally inaccurate.

Regarding Alice in Wonderland 1897 'rare' edition

That is the sale I am interested in, and rather relieved to hear you say that it is not all it is cracked up to be. I'm just beginning my foray into antique books, having purchased a few as gifts for friends and such, I've become quite fond of collectors items. You mentioned certain statements in the description that were inaccurate, and I was curious as to what these are. I am tremendously interested in eventually getting my hands on a copy of Alice in Wonderland but, as you have pointed out, there are a lot of people out there willing to pay far too much, and I'd rather learn it before burning 2-3 times the value of the book. Any information you can proivde is deeply appreciated.

I became the highest bidder and came across ur review on a site with a reference to your email to explain further some incorrections in the description? please elaborate for me as i do not want any ill bidding or buyers remorse and would appreciate your expertise.


A:  First. Since Henry Altemus incorporated in 1900 to become Henry Altemus Company, any book with the imprint Henry Altemus Company has to be published in 1900 or later. You will see on one of the pictures that this is the case.

The copyright of this book comes from an 1897 edition that Altemus did publish. Altemus published this title in a myriad of formats-most all were actually published prior to this edition.

Go to my website-henryaltemus.com and put Alice in the index to see all of the many formats.

This book is part of either Series #64 or #200 (they are the same series except for a name change).
See: Series 200 and Series 64.

These books were published between 1912 and 1920.

This book is not the "rare" Altemus first edition although I have to say that even if it were, it would not command this type of money.

The first Altemus editions actually were published in 1895. See Series 202 Format 1

This book (or one just like it) had been on Ebay for several years. The description at that time was very similar to this description. Whether this is the same seller or someone just using that description is unclear to me.

I certainly do not know everything but I have studied Altemus and its books for many years and maintain the website about Altemus.
I wrote an article last year about the Altemus "Alices" for the Lewis Carroll newsletter.

This is a nice book but its description is incorrect. In my opinion it is not worth near the present bid price. But I guess if a buyer pays this kind of money, it is worth the price to him/her.


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