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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
17 Feb 2010 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Dear Expert: I have just found an old book, Black Beauty, and the publisher is Henry Altemus Company. I cannot find a publishing date and all pages appear to be intact with some damage to the cover and the binding. There is a notation on the front cover back of No. 49. Could you please enlighten me as to the date of publication. Should I spend money with a conservator to have it restored? My appreciation for your assistance in advance.

A:  Your book can be found here with the 1903-1904 books. Petit Trianon Series

Most of the books of the publisher's series are reprints and have only nominal value.

It would not be worth getting restored.


16 Feb 2010 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  Hi - Attached are some pictures of "Black Beauty" book I have. Based on your site, I believe it may have been printed prior to 1900 as it only shows "Henry Altemus" & not "Henry Altemus Publishing". Is there a way to determine the exact date & possible worth of the book? Thank you in advance for any insight/information.

A:  Your book was published in 1898. It is part of the Vademecum Series.

You can see it here: Series 179

As a general rule most of the reprints done by Altemus as part of this publisher's series have only nominal value.


15 Feb 2010

Non Series #3

Q:  Hello, I have attached a scan of the cover. I have tried to do some research on this version of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass but I have yet to come across this cover. It does say Henry Altemus Company on the inside so I can assume it is after 1900 but it looks different than the one published in the Little Men and Women Series #125. This book does not has a dust jacket and is in OK condition. I would really just like to learn a little more about this.

A:  This version of Alice/Through was not part of a series.

You can see a copy with its jacket here Non Series #3

This format is more uncommon than the Little Men and Women Series and the Young People's Library (#202) Series Alice's.

I believe it was published in the mid to late teens and then reprinted for a number of years thereafter.


14 Feb 2010 78

Dore's Masterpieces

Q:  Hi. I'm curious to find out how much this book might be worth. Any information you could tell me would be greatly appreciated.

A:  This book sells for between $25 and $125 as an average. Your book is not in the best shape so it probably would go on the low end of that range.

This format was published between 1889 and 1900.

This book is very common but people buy it frequently to sell the illustrations individually.

How successful that venture is would just be a guess.

For more about the series see: Dore's Masterpieces


13 Feb 2010 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have a book of The Scarlet Letter. Written by: Nathaniel Hawthorne and published by Henry Altemus Company. On the first page it has the preface. Below the word preface it says "To the second edition". After the preface introduction there is a date (SALEM, March 30, 1850). Attached is a picture of the front of the book. I am just curious if this book is worth anything. I know it was bought on October 9, 1903. The person who bought it wrote the date on the back page and why she bought it. The measurements of the book are: 6 1/2 inches x 1 inch x 4 1/2 inches if that helps any. I have looked for many hours online trying to find a book with the same cover. Please help me.

A:  Information on your book can be found here: Vademecum Series and at Series 180

It was published in 1903. Altemus published this title in numerous formats. When it did, it reprinted the entire book including the early dated preface.

Thus, every edition of this book that Altemus reprinted has the "second edition" preface from the original 1850's book.

It has only nominal value.


12 Feb 2010 164

Shakepeare's Plays

Q:  I have a format 3 complete series of William Shakespeare published by your company. I have all 39 books in perfect condition. I think they have just been sitting on a shelf and never opened until I looked inside tonight the binding is crisp and has that new book feeling. Can you tell me if these are rare, any approx. value, and where I might sell them.

A:  This set is quite common although they are not usually seen in great shape like yours.

When sets sell, most often they bring no more than a few dollars per book.

If you have the original labeled box, they are worth a lot more.

See Shakepeare's Plays for more details.


11 Feb 2010 186

Wee Books for Wee Folks Series

Q:  I am trying to find info on this book. There is no date. It has 26 illustrations with a coverslip (color)?

A:  Your book was first published in 1918. Your copy however is a later one. The 1918-1920 copies of this book had yellow lettering.

You can date your copy with the information here:

Wee Books

Series 186

It is neither rare nor valuable.


10 Feb 2010 202

Young People's Library-Format 1

Q:  Hi. Is this an original 1895 First edition? Thank you.

A:  I cannot see the pictures on the side very well.

The 1895 book has 1895 on the title page and the ads opposite only go to Through the Looking Glass.

See Young People's Library-Format 1 for dating your book.

A. 1895 (early) Title page 1895 with front ads to Through the Looking-Glass
B. 1895 (late) Title page 1895 with front ads to Gulliver's Travels
C. 1896 Title page 1896 and/or with front ads to Grimm's Fairy Tales
D. 1897 (early) Front ads to Grimm's Fairy Tales/ back ads to Black Beauty
E. 1897 Front ads to Black Beauty/ back ads to Black Beauty
E. 1897 (late)/Early 1898 Front ads to Flower Fables

The 1895 book sells anywhere from $0-100.

Yours is not in the best shape however so it is hard to know what price it might bring.


09 Feb 2010 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I received this book from my grandmother upon her death. I think it is the Vademecum series. The binding is in poor shape, and the last two pages of the book, one is torn and one is loose. There are no dates printed on any page.

If possible, I would like to know the book's print date and if it is of any monetary value. It is a darling book and is of high sentimental value to me.


A:  It is a 1907 book. See Series 180

It is part of the Vademecum Series which was a Altemus series of reprints. The covers changed yearly.

It only has nominal value.


08 Feb 2010 202

Young People's Library Format 4

Q:  Hello- I have a copy of John Bunyan's book The Pilgrims Progress. It's in format 4 - 5 good condition. Do you know when it was printed?

A:  It was published between 1923-1933. The date can be narrowed down by studying the ads in the back of the book.

A review on dating this format is at Young People's Library Format 4

Copies are still in circulation today as a used book.


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