I just found an old Altemus book: Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. It’s got a different cover from the ones I could find on your website and doesn’t seem to be part of a “young people’s library” based on the lack of spine decoration. It’s dated 1897, but obviously might not be from that early. It has four color plates and numerous Tenniel illustrations. (Color do not seem to be Tenniel.) No Tweedle Dee and Dum on the cover – rather it’s the queens and Alice.
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 Title Search to see all of the many formats.
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 http://henryaltemus.com/series/series202F1.htm
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.