The first three formats of this series include the same three titles with different over-sized covers.
The second format books are 9.5 x 7 and have a book appropriate appliqué (paste-on) on the front cover. They originally came with very hard to find dust jackets. Publication date is unclear but after 1922.
See http://henryaltemus.com/series/series113.htm for more information.
Today I am adding book #3 The Little Small Red Hen to the database. It is pictured below with the other books in this format.
The Scarlet Letter was published in numerous formats by Altemus. In 1892 it was printed in non series form as well as in the Altemus Library series.
Today I am adding a fourth cover variation of the non series book. As has been noted before, the earlier 1892 Scarlet Letters do not have the reprint of the “Preface to the second edition”. See http://henryaltemus.com/images/NS_124.htm
The non series 1892 book is on the left whereas the Altemus Library 1892 Scarlet Letter is below on the right.
Altemus published two hardcover comic book series. They are both rare but the four book Felix Series (http://henryaltemus.com/series/series88.htm) is the scarcer one. These books came in very hard to find dust jackets. All four books were first published in 1931.
The first book has been seen in two formats. The first format has 32 heavy paper-stock pages (almost as thick as cardboard). The later book has 48 thin glossy pages. Very interestingly the later book mentions the next book (No. 2) on its last page whereas the earlier book does not (see pictures below). This may mean that Altemus initially only planned to publish one Felix book. Further evidence of this is that book #1 makes no reference to its number whereas book #2 says “Book No. 2″ on its front cover)
Altemus published the two Alice books in numerous formats. For the most part they are relatively common books. Unfortunately they are also among the most commonly incorrectly described Altemus publications. Today on Ebay about half of the 20 plus Altemus Alice’s that are for sale are dated wrong.
The first rule of thumb is that since Altemus incorporated in 1900 a book that has the Henry Altemus Company imprint on the title page has to be from 1900 or later.
Here are some examples from Ebay.
THROUGH Looking GLASS Alice WONDERLAND 1897 RARE Lewis CARROLL Tenniel ENGRAVING
Reality: This book is from the Little Men and Women Series (http://henryaltemus.com/series/series125.htm) which was published between 1907 and 1925. The ads in the back and on the dust jacket can help determine the date.
Through The Looking Glass 1897 Lewis Carroll COLOR Tenniel illustrations NIC
Reality: This book is part of either Series #200 Young Folks Quarto Series or its successor Series #64 Children’s Gift Series.
These series were published between 1912-1920.
ALICE ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND-LEWIS CARROL-1897-VERY NICE COPY-COLLECTIBLE!
Reality: This is a Format 3 Young People’s Library book published at its earliest in 1902. See http://henryaltemus.com/series/series202F3.htm
These later Young People’s Library books are frequently thought be to 1897 publications because the copyright date is on the title page, But again note the Henry Altemus Company imprint. At $329 buy it now it is not exactly a bargain.
To help you accurately identify Altemus Alice’s see http://henryaltemus.com/alice/alice.htm.
This publisher’s series of reprints was printed between 1897 and 1902.
During the six year publishing run four different covers were used. Each cover has been seen in several different colors.
Today I am adding a sixth different cover to the 1899-1901 books. (http://henryaltemus.com/series/series48.htm)
Here is another example of a slipcase box for an Altemus book. This book belongs to the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1903-1904. http://henryaltemus.com/series/series143.htm
As noted in the last blog it is unlikely that any Altemus books were published without either a labeled box or a dust jacket.
As mentioned a number of times, it is almost certain that every Altemus book originally came within a box or with a dust jacket. Here is another example of a boxed book. The Beauxarts Series (http://henryaltemus.com/series/series48.htm) was a publisher’s series of reprints published between 1897 and 1902. Several different decorative covers are found on these books. The cover shown here is that of the 1902 books. The slipcase cover is labeled with the book name and number as well as the series name.
These boxes are becoming harder and harder to find. As you probably realize many of the boxes have no label because they peel off so easily.
Q: History of book by Henry Altemus Company:
It is 6 inches by 4 1/2 inches — Outside is a felt material
Inscribes with Gold Leaf – Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin with a flower on the bottom right side (Gold Leaf)
A picture of Benjamin on the 3rd page
287 pages, no series numbers, no advertisements in back
A: This book is part of the World’s Classic Series and was published between 1912 and 1916. The limp velvet calf has been seen in both green and red. It is a reprint. Originally the book came in a labeled box.
Altemus published a number of series that are very similar exact for the gold gilt decoration on the bottom right of the front cover.
In this condition it has no value.
Q: I have a copy of A Gourd Fiddle with a dust jacket. The only date is 1904 on the copyright page, no date on the title page. McBride lists Altemus firsts as same date on both pages, so I assume this is not a first, although it was sold to me as a first. I can see how anyone might be confuse about that! As you can see from the scans, the DJ is in color, not the plain brown, though the book looks like your picture of #2 variant from the Cherrycroft series. Can you tell me what I have?
A: Your reference book is incorrect regarding how to determine whether this book is a first edition or not. Most Altemus editions do not list the date on the title page. In fact, it is really the exception when a first edition Altemus book has a date on the title page. My information is based on studying and owning thousands of Altemus books.
The reverse of the jacket helps tell the story. You can see that the Little Men and Women Series is listed there. Boy Geologist was added to this series in 1910. So just looking at this we know that your book was published between 1910 and 1915 (when the jackets changed to white uncoated). The earlier editions shown on the website also have white not black lettering.
The earlier Gourd Fiddle from the Boys and Girls Booklovers was published in the 1904-1907 range. The later ones were published in the Cherrycroft Series in the 1907-1911 range. The later series is where your book fits -1910-1911.
I am enclosing for your interest the reverse of two Gourd Fiddle book jackets. The one that lists the book title Tor is from the first edition. The other one lists the Little Men and Women Series but is an earlier edition than yours. It lists Sea Kings but not Boy Geologist making it a 1909 book.
Finally, appreciate that without the dust jackets it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to determine the dating of this particular book.
Starting in 1893 Altemus books were given away as a promotion by the Leinbach Clothier Store in Reading, Pennsylvania. Every year or two certain Altemus published books had advertising inserts for Leinbach & Bro. In addition, Compliments of Leinbach and Bro was stamped in gilt on the front or the back cover. For more Leinbach information see http://henryaltemus.com/ephemera/leinbach.htm.
Today I am adding to the data base the Leinbach advertisements for 1901. The book is from the Riviere Series which is a publisher’s series of reprints. (http://henryaltemus.com/series/series158.htm)