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Anyone can list a book on Ebay. Although most people attempt to describe their books accurately, not infrequently the descriptions are incorrect. Unsophisticated buyers may pay much more for the book than it is actually worth. This section will review some of the inaccurate descriptions and give the correction.

 

Click thumbnail images to enlarge.

 

Ebay Description Errors:
Date Series Num Information
01 Apr 2007 179

Vademecum Series

Ebay description:  The Ethics of the Dust by John Ruskin 1894 1st edition

The Reality:  Although the seller is correct about the date of publication, he is wrong about the first edition status. The first American was published in 1866 by John Wiley. Henry Altemus published numerous great works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, essays etc. in their publisher's series but virtually all of them were reprints.


01 Apr 2007 202

Young People's Library - Format 3

Ebay description:  1897 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Altemus Library
Considered collectible, this 1897 edition from the Altemus' Young People's Library


The Reality:  This book is part of the Young People's Library - format 3 which was published from 1902- 1920s. The spine which can just be seen in this picture is typical for that format and not the earlier formats. See - http://henryaltemus.com/series/series202F2.htm This book is incredibly common and can be found in better shape quite easily.


01 Apr 2007 202

Young People's Library - Format 3

Ebay description:  Lewis CARROLL 1897 Alice Looking Glass

Title: Through The Looking Glass And What Alice Found There
Author: Lewis Carroll
Publisher: Printed in Philadelphia: Henry Altemus and Co in 1897 as stated on title page.

50 ILLUSTRATIONS including 4 color.

Description: Great Early Vintage Edition!! A must have copy of this treasured story. Pictorial cover of Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb with many illustrations including 4 color ones. Sure to delight any Alice In Wonderland Fan!!

We sell Authentic Antiquarian Books That Are Sure To Become Heirlooms In Your Family. All Of Our Books Are Genuine From Time Period Stated In Auction. They Are Not Reproductions! All Of Our Fine Bindings Come With A Certificate Of Authenticity UPON REQUEST.


The Reality:  Once again someone mistakenly dates an Altemus book without realizing two key facts. Prior to 1900 the title page stated Henry Altemus not Henry Altemus Company as the publisher. Once Henry Altemus incorporated in 1900 all the title pages added Company to the Henry Altemus name. Also remember that in certain series-(the Young People's Library was one of them) Altemus used their original date of publication on the title page.

This book is from the 3rd format (as clearly seen by the characteristic spine) of this series and was not published before 1902. The exact dating could be determined by analyzing the ads.

A certificate of authenticity offered by this seller probably will not change the publication of this book to 1897.


26 Feb 2007 202

Young People's Library

Ebay description:  BATTLES of the CIVIL WAR FOR THE UNION- 1st Ed H/B 1879
80 DRAWINGS OF MEN & BATTLE SITES, NO RESERVE

THE BATTLES of the WAR FOR THE UNION, by Prescott Holmes, published by Henry Altemus Co., Philadelphia, 1897, a first edition. Altemus Young People’s Library. The story of the Great Civil War, from the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Surrender at Appomattox, impartially told. Hard cover with 80 illustrations, 338 pages plus 16pp of a catalog of Altemus titles.


The Reality:  This book is a format 3 Young People's Library book published in 1902 or later. Without seeing the ads in the back of the book I cannot be certain when between 1902 and the teens it was published. The first Altemus edition of this book was published in 1897 as part of Series #120- The Library of Standard Authors. The format of that book is seen below.

As is frequently the case, the seller not only does not appreciate that Altemus did not publish any reading books earlier than 1890 but he/she also did not realize that the Henry Altemus Company on the title page indicates a post-1900 book.


14 Feb 2007 202

Young People's Library

Ebay description:  A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES ROBERT L STEVENSON 1902 1 ED

A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES, By Robert Louis Stevenson, with one hundred and twenty illustrations, Published by Hary Altemus Company, Philadelphia, 1902.


The Reality:  The first American edition was published by Scribner's in 1885. This is a 3rd format Young People's Library book. Published in 1902 or later.


02 Feb 2007 18

High School Vacation Days

Ebay description:  THE HIGH SCHOOL BOYS' TRAINING HIKE 1913 1ST ED 1ST DJ

THIS IS ... THE HIGH SCHOOL BOYS' TRAINING HIKE THE 4TH IN THE HIGH SCHOOL BOYS VACATION SERIES. THIS BOOK WAS PUBLISHED BY ALTEMUS IN 1913. THIS BOOK LISTS TO ITSELF IN THE BOOK ADS AND ON THE VERY SCARCE DUST JACKET.


The Reality:  This jacket is from the third format and was not published until 1924. Since this is the fourth and final book in the series, naturally the ads only list to itself. A 5th book was never published. I suspect if the seller looked, later series books are listed in the ads.


29 Jan 2007 189

Wee Folks Peter Rabbit Series

Ebay description:  Peter Rabbit's Christmas 1917 1st Graham, Duff rare

The Reality:  The ads tell the story. The last book listed on the Peter Rabbit list on the back of the jacket - Peter Rabbit, Jack-the-Jumper and the Old Witch Woman was published in 1923. Thus, this book at its earliest was published 6 years after the first edition. More specifically, the first edition cover lettering was red not dark green.


23 Jan 2007 179

Vademecum Series

Ebay description:  Heroes & Hero Worship, Carlyle, Henry Altemus, precopyright, appears to be a first edition, "Heroes and Hero Worship"; by Thomas Carlyle; Henry Altemus, Philadelphia, publisher; no copyright date, very old, ornate cover, pre-copyright indicates it was probably 1880 or earlier; on the inside cover, in faded pencilit says either "1888" or "1998";

The Reality:  The first American edition was published by Appleton in 1841. This book which is part of the Vademecum Series was published in 1897.


23 Jan 2007 202

Young People's Library

Ebay description:  THE LITTLE LAME PRINCE 1900 FIRST EDITION SCARCE!!!

You are looking at a first edition copy of, "The Little Lame Prince" printed in 1900 by, "The Henry Altemus Co.". .


The Reality:  What you are not looking at is a first edition. The first American edition was published in 1875 by Harpers. What you are looking at is a reprint published by Henry Altemus Company.


06 Jan 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Ebay description:  ANTIQUE, VINTAGE BOOK~FIRST EDITION.~1890 COPYRIGHT

VINTAGE FIRST EDITION HARDCOVER BOOK,

ENTITLED "IDLE THOUGHTS OF AN IDLE FELLOW" by Jerome K. Jerome. Copyright 1890 by Henry Altemus

Philadelphia, Henry Altemus Company


The Reality:  This is a 1901 Vademecum Series book. The seller confuses the copyright date with the date of publication. The first edition was published in 1886. The first of many Altemus editions was published in 1890.


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