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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
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.

04 Mar 2010 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Can you tell me what the publication date is on this book (The Biglow Papers)? Any information would be appreciated

A:  Your book was published in 1903 as part of Series 180 Vademecum Series. During this year Altemus used more than 40 possible pictures on the front cover.

See Vademecum Series for more information.

03 Mar 2010 47

Beauxarts Series

Q:  My mother sent you the below image of a book we found recently in our basement. It belonged to my late Grandfather and we were just curious to see if you could help us determine if it has any substantial worth, or if it is just a neat collectors item. I will attach the images again for clarity. The info I have from the book is that it is titled Balzac's Short Stories. Published in Philadelphia - 1895. Any info helps, thanks for your time.

A:  Your book is part of the Series 47 Beauxarts Series. This series of reprints is not rare and most of the titles (including yours) have only nominal value.
For more information see Series 47.

02 Mar 2010 96

Golden Books of Childhood

Q:  Is this an original for Altemus publishing (The Children's Shakespeare)?

A:  No. Your book is part of the three volume series- Golden Books of Childhood. It was published in 1916. It is a large book measured at 8.75 x 6.75. This title was published earlier by Altemus in 1900 in the Dainty Series in a very different appearing format.

01 Mar 2010 58

Boys and Girls Classics


A:  Your book is part of this series Boys and Girls Classics.

It was published between 1899-1902.

The website page above can help you date it exactly.

This book originally came in a labeled box. The Young People's Library version of Alice is much more commonly seen and generally costs more. But this book is the rarer of the two formats and in my opinion has a much more elegant cover. The cover was designed by the Decorative Designers firm.

It appears to be in nice shape and probably would sell between $10-40.

28 Feb 2010 202

Young People's Library Format 2

Q:  I have a friend who has a first edition of Lives of the Presidents copyright 1899. Any idea what it might be worth?

A:  Your friend's book is not the first edition of this title. The first edition can be seen here as book #13.
Young People's Library Format 1

As you can see the cover looks quite different.

Your book is pictured here: Young People's Library Format 2

The book you sent is a format 2 book whereas the earlier book is a format 1 book.

Without the dust jacket it has nominal value.

Format 2

First Format

22 Feb 2010 38

Altemus Library (2)

Q:  We have this book (The House of the Seven Gables) and as you can see, it is in very good condition. Published in 1892. No dust cover. Can you give us any information regarding its value?

A:  Your book can be found here:
Altemus Library

It was published between 1913 and 1916.

The Altemus copyright refers to the first time Altemus published this title as a reprint in 1892.

It has only nominal value.

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Last Revision: March 19, 2018