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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
16 Sep 2007 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have a copy of House of Seven Gables, published by the Henry Altemus Company. The book is 4 x 6 inches in size. The cover is green, with gilt lettering and red flowers. Pictures of the cover and flowers are attached. Can you please advise as to age and approx. value of this copy.

A:  Your book was published in 1896 as part of the Vademecum Series. This multivolumed, multiauthored series of reprints was published between 1894 and 1926 with numerous different cover formats. The 1896 books came initially in a box. Unless you can find a collector who is very interested in this particular format of this title, your book only will garner nominal value.

15 Sep 2007 74

Dainty Series

Q:  I have a book (copy attached) that is titled "The Silver Buckle - A Tale of the Revolution. It is authored by M. Nataline Crumpton. The 6th page reflects the words, "Copywrite 1899 by Henry Altemus. The illustrations were by Cornelis E. Bedford. Can you give me more information and value?

A:  Your book is volume # 1 in the Dainty Series. It is part of the 3rd format (of five) published between 1903 and 1905. Without a dust jacket it has little collector value or interest.

15 Sep 2007 163

Sanspareil Series

Q:  Good evening,

I have a very nice hardbound copy of Black Beauty published by Henry Altemus Philadelphia. I am attaching a picture of the book--beautiful cover.

Can you help my by telling me the approximate date of publication on this book????

A:  Your book is part of the multivolume, multiauthored publisher's series called the Sanspareil Series. This series was published in 1898 and 1899. Your book was published in 1899. It originally had a dust jacket.

15 Sep 2007 199

Young Folks Puzzle Pictures Series

Q:  I have an Altemus book, Mother Goose's Puzzle Pictures. The condition is not very good, but I was wondering if you could tell me anything about it - the title page is marked Philadelphia, Henry Altemus Company, and on the back of the title page Copyright, 1906, by Howard E.Altemus. No author, but the Introductory section is initialed J.H.W. at the bottom. I looked on your site to see if there was any info but was not able to find any . . . Thanks is advance for any help!

A:  This series of 5 books was published in dust jackets in 1906 (your book-Volume 1) and 1907 (Volumes 2-5). The puzzle in these books is finding the hidden object within each page. For more information: Young Folks Puzzle Pictures Series

28 Jul 2007 202

Young People's Library - Format 3

Q:  The attached picture shows the cover of the book Swiss Family Robinson by Altemus Henry. The inside is stamped 1893-Philadelphia Henry Altemus Company, Can you give us an idea of its worth? Thanks.

A:  Your book is part of the Young People's Library-Format 3 published between 1902 and 1923. The exact date could be determined by reviewing the ads in the back of the book. Although a nice book, it is worth no more than nominal value because of lack of collector interest.

23 Jun 2007 79

Esperance Series

Q:  I am attempting to get some information about a book that was given to me many years ago by a family friend. It is a copy of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. On the title page it says
Henry Altemus Company
On the back side of that page it says: "Copyright 1896 by Henry Altemus"

It is a small 6 1/4" long x 4 1/2" wide with a soft suede green cover with a pattern of embossed oak (?) leaves on the cover. The front cover is faded but the gilt lettering of the title is still easily readable. Inside there is a split between the lower half of the first 3 pages and the rest of the pages in the book (along the spine).

Can you give me any idea of when it was actually printed, it's orginal cost and value today?

A:  I am enclosing a picture of what I think you are describing. This book comes from the Esperance Series. If I am incorrect, let me know.

Info about this series is at:
Esperance Series

These books were published later than your 1896 copyright. The 1896 reflects when Altemus first published this title. (In a different format).

Your book originally came with a box.

Without the box the book does not usually sell for more than nominal value. Of course, you never know what someone will pay.

11 Jun 2007 37

Altemus Library

Q:  I have a small book called, Chesterfield's Letters? It is gray with a silver and red coat of arms on the front? On the edge of the book it says Altemus, and inside there is a script that says Letters, Sentences and Maxims - Lord Chesterfield Henry Altemus Philadelphia. Then there is a page that feels different from the other pages that has a picture of Philip, Earl of Chesterfield? It has a piece of what looks like onion cloth protecting that page? The next page says; Letters, Sentences, and Maxims by Lord Chesterfield, Philadelphia, Henry Altemus 1892. 302 pages. What can you tell me about this book?? Is it rare?? Is it of any value??

A:  I assume the book you are referring to is the one I have pictured below. It is part of the Altemus Library, a series published in the early 1890s. It is neither rare or valuable.
You never know what someone will find worth spending money on but if you get more than nominal value for this book, you should consider yourself fortunate.

11 Jun 2007 75

Devotional Series

Q:  I recently purchased an old copy of "John Ploughman's Talk" by Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon published by Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia. It has no date in it. I would like to know how old it is. Can you help me? Attached are pictures to help.

A:  Your book is part of the Devotional Series (#75) and was published between 1901-1904. As you can see, there is a picture inside the oval on the cover of the book. There were a number of different pictures with this one appearing most often.

11 Jun 2007 125

Little Men and Women Series

Q:  I have a copy of "Alice in Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass" that appears to be undated. I have attached 2 pictures for your review. Can you please tell me anything about this wonderful, old book?

A:  Your book is from the Little Men and Women Series (#125), It was published between 1908 and 1915. This series of reprints originally came with jackets. Although there is nothing to distinguish the earlier in the series from the later in the series as far as the text goes, the covers and the ads did change as the years advanced. It appears from your cover that your book was one of the later books.

11 Jun 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have found a very old Henry Altemus book. I am waiting for my batteries to recharge to send you a photo.

The title page contains:
Honore De Balzac
Shorter Stories
Henry Altemus
All lettering in Red with Green decorative. The back of the title page lists in red: Copyright 1895 by Henry Altemus

The cover looks strikingly like Series 180 Vademecum. I don't seem to be able to identify this book. I would appreciate any help you can provide.

A:  Your book is a 1901 Vademecum Series book. For several years the Vademecum books had various cover styles within which was a painted picture such as yours. These pictures (of which I know of 27) were used randomly with all of each year's books. The 1901 book came in at least 6 different colors. Thus for any given title there would be at least 162 different combinations of pictures and cover colors. Although any one book might be hard to find, the books of this series are relatively common. Certain titles are a bit more collectible than others. This is not because of scarcity but rather just because the title or author is more widely known. The Alice in Wonderland books by Carroll would be an example. They usually only bring nominal value when sold.

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Last Revision: September 26, 2017