Q: I just found this book while cleaning my book shelf, and wondered about it’s value..history, etc.
I’m sending additional photos of title and publishing.
A: This book is part of the Vademecum Series. It was published in 1898.
During this year this cover pattern was published in a number of different colors.
It is a reprint and thus has only nominal value.
Q: I have what I believe is a first edition (pirated) copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. It looks exactly like the one on your website. I am trying to find out if there is any value to it.
Here is what it looks like:
A: This is a great book. It is the first American edition of Peter Rabbit.
You can find out more here: http://henryaltemus.com/peter_rabbit/peterrabbit.htm
Frequently other Altemus editions are touted as the first but this is really it.
It was published early in 1904. Later in 1904 Altemus published its second Tale of Peter Rabbit edition. It is the green book below. In 1917 the most commonly seen Altemus Peter Rabbit was published. It is the one with the paste-on picture. This edition was printed into the 1930′s.
Having said that, it is always hard to predict prices. I think you should be able to get $50-100 for it.
This series of reprints was published between 1897 and 1902. During this time span four different covers were used. Each year had its particular cover with multiple different color variants.
Today I am adding a fifth new color variant to the 1898 books.
Here is the new cover:
The previously seen four covers are below.
Q: Hello, I have a book (Undine) of my recently deceased grandma and was wondering how rare or if its worth any money. It says copyright 1899 on it and I have attached pictures of the cover etc. The cover is blue with gold print. It has illustrations and some are in color.
A: Your book is from the Vademecum Series and was published in 1902. See http://henryaltemus.com/vademecum.
It is a reprint and thus has only nominal value.
The Young People’s Library was published with four different formats between 1895 and 1933. The most common of the formats is #3 which was published between 1902 and 1923.
Each format has a distinctive spine. Format #3′s spine looks like this:
Today I am adding a third variant cover of Book #44 Alexander the Great to Format #3 of the Young People’s Library.
Distinguishing the earliest from the latest edition should be relatively easy if you look at the ads and follow the simple rules on the website: http://henryaltemus.com/series/series202F3.htm
This book does not list Vic in the Young People’s Library ad (1907-1910) but does list 6 titles in the Mother’s Series. Thus=1907-1908.
Exception: If Vic is not listed but the endpapers have the reading girl, the book is a 1902 book with earlier advertisements. This book has a reading girl in the center of the endpapers with no Vic in the ads. This is the one exception to the “Vic” dating. See website.
Vic is not listed (After 1907 with the one above exception) and the Little Men and Women Series list to List Lady-Her Book =1908-1909.
Q: Hello, I am inquiring about the value of this book, “The House of Seven Gables”, Altemus, Philadelphia. The illustration is dated 1899. Please advise.
A: Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1899. During this year the books all had the same pattern on the left side of the cover. The right half of the cover had numerous floral designs or decorative patterns.
Because it is a reprint of a widely available title, it is worth only a few dollars.
The Gustave Dore illustrated books of Series 78 are among the most desired and collected of all Altemus books. Certainly they are not the scarcest but the large Dore illustrations drive the desirability. The volumes were published between 1889 and 1903. It is not unusual for these books to sell in the hundreds of dollars.
There are six books in the series not including one German language edition. See http://henryaltemus.com/series/series78.htm
There are several different formats but the most commonly seen books have the beautiful gold gilt designs on the cover. This fact also drives the collectors’ willingness to pay the big dollars. As to the point that these books are fairly common, there are presently 10 books from this series on Ebay and 54 for sale on ABE.
Here are two examples:
The absolute rarest format of these books (Format 6) is the Presentation Edition which was published only in 1889. This style is only on four of the titles of this series. The Presentation Edition is bound with fine bullion silk. Satin ribbons are stamped in gold and bound into the covers.
Today I am adding another Presentation Edition to the database. This is only the second one I have seen over the years. It is distinctly rarer than the other Dore books.
For more information about this series see http://henryaltemus.com/series/series78.htm.
Today I am adding two new Dust Jacket pictures to the database. Both of these pictures are for Series 186. (http://henryaltemus.com/series/series186.htm). Both books are hard to find with or without jackets. This format’s Alice Through the Looking Glass is much harder to find than the common Young People’s Library version.
The Slovenly Betsy book is one of the rarest Wee Books and this is the only one I have seen in jacket and for that matter is one of only a few copies I have seen with or without a jacket over the years.
I purchased these books from Two Dog Books which still has a number of jacketed Wee Books for sale. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Henry Altemus Company published several series of Wee Books. These series mostly consisted of small (5.5 x 4.5) books with a 2.5 x 3.5 paste-on (applique) on the front cover. The dust jackets almost always matched the front covers of the books. The exceptions are very rare.
Here is an exception from the Little Bunnie Bunniekin Series (http://henryaltemus.com/series/series124.htm). Book #2 is Little Mousie Mousiekin. Shown below is this title’s cover and the more common dust jacket and the rare variant dust jacket. The rare dust jacket’s cover is the same as the frontispiece.
Q: I came across your website when I was researching the worth of this book (Rip Van Winkle). The copyright date on the inside cover is 1896. Being that old, I would consider it to be in good shape. However it is signed from a teacher to her student on the inside cover and I am not sure what that does to the worth of a book. I am just curious to know what you think this book is worth.
A: Your book is part of the Love and Friendship Series. http://henryaltemus.com/series/series127.htm.
This cover design was seen in the Format 1 books which were first published in 1901.
These books had a stereotypical design on the left of the front cover. On the right was one of sixteen flowers. Your book has the daffodil on it.
Without the dust jacket it only has nominal value.