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The following are questions submitted via email by our visitors.

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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
26 Jul 2015 164

Shakespeare's Plays

Q:  My name is Jesse Roth and I am a volunteer at a bookstore in Bluffton, Ohio called Book Reviews. We received as a donation a set of 39 of William Shakespeare's Plays. Using your website, I have determined that our set is of the Format 7 variety, which was published from 1906-1933. I was wondering if you could tell me how to precisely date the set? Or is it that each book in the set was published within that range of dates? Also, they are used and in good condition, is there any way you could tell me how much they're worth?

A:  The Format 7 books were published continuously between 1906 and 1933. The title pages of the earlier format 7 books are red (later are black).

See Shakespeare's Plays for more information about this format. Originally all these volumes were all housed in a large box.

These books are very common. Most often when offered for sale, there are no bidders. A few dollars for each book would be reasonable. You might get a bit more if your books have dust jackets.

Examples of the dust jacket and the box are shown here.

24 Jul 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  To whom it may concern,
I recently lost my Mother and found this Lucile in her belongings with a handwritten enscription of 1904. Any information would be so helpful.

A:  This book was published in 1902 as part of the Vademecum Series.

All of the books in this series are reprints. In 1902 these volumes were published in a number of different colors with more than 40 appliqué pictures possible for the front cover.

Some examples are shown here.

18 Jul 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Could you please tell me the age of this book (Uncle Tom's Cabin) and how much I would ask for it since I'm trying to sell it? Please let me know at your earliest convenience.

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series (http://www.henryaltemus.com/series/series180.htm) and was published between 1909 and 1912. It was originally sold within a red labeled box.

Although it is a well known title, this edition is a reprint and because of the huge number of reprints available, it only has nominal value.

Shown here is a sample box.

16 Jul 2015

Altemus Bible

Q:  Good afternoon Altemus expert,
My siblings and I recently inherited my Father’s 1895 Philadelphia Edition (see attached photo’s.) We’re having trouble finding information on the Internet about its resale value. Can you help us?

A:  Bibles were a mainstay of the Henry Altemus publishing firm in the 1880's and 1890's. (http://www.henryaltemus.com/bibles/bibles.htm). Photographic albums which had been a large Altemus revenue producer were replaced by Bibles in the 1880's just as books replaced Bibles in the 1890's.

I have seen 62 different cover variants (yours is shown as B8 on the Bible webpage) of the oversized Bibles which were published between 1884 and the mid-1890's. Bibles of the 1870's had covers similar to the Altemus photographic albums.

The contents of these latter Bibles varied (see webpage) and most had Gustave Dore illustrations. They are large heavy books and because of that are somewhat hard to find with perfect bindings.

Numerous companies published similar Bibles during this era and because of that most of them have little value. Bible collectors generally will not pay more than $50-75 even when the Bibles are in pretty good shape.

12 Jul 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have a first series edition of Emerson's Essays that I bought a few years back. It's a beautiful book, and one of the most valued item I own to me. I want to find out the year it was published. As I said, it's a first edition, Altemus, and was published in Philadelphia, PA. Here are pictures of the book itself.

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1899. It is a reprint-not a first edition.

By 1899 Altemus had published this title in numerous formats. Other publishers also printed this book in many different series prior to your book's publication.

Emerson died in 1882 and these Essays were published first in the 1840's.

It only has nominal value.

09 Jul 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  thank you :) tried searching but it didn't come up, but I am new to the site. thanks again

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1907.

All of the volumes of this series are reprints and in 1907 were sold within a labeled box (See here).

In 1907 the Vademecum Series' books were published in a number of different colors. More than 40 appliqué pictures have been noted on these books. See here.

07 Jul 2015 137

One Syllable Series

Q:  Good Morning. I am looking for an appraisal on this book dated 1899, A Child's Story of the Bible. I am also interested in an effective way to sell it. It has been in my family since great grandparents and I am downsizing, but want to treat it with respect, not toss it in a book bin. Thank you.

A:  This book is part of the 12 volume One Syllable Series. There are four formats in this series and this book is part of Format 1. Format 1 books were published between 1900 and 1902.

This volume, #3 in the series, was dropped from the series after Format #1 and thus is the scarcest title within this series. Regardless because it is not very collectable, without a dust jacket it has only nominal value.

05 Jul 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Dear Sir or Madam,
I am a volunteer at our local library who assists in determining the value of books donated to our library.

A book published by Henry Altemus "Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There" was donated to our library and I find I am in need of your assistance in determining the value of this book.

I believe it was published in 1899. There is no copyright date. I believe the book has the spine of one of your Format 1 books. I have been able to determine it is not a first edition as it does not meet the qualifications outlined on your website.

I have attached scanned copies of the cover, title page, spine, and the front end cover and front end page hoping you can aide me in dating and determining the value of this book.

I thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to your response.

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1900. It originally came within a labeled box. During this year the titles in this series (all are reprints) were published with several different color covers. (See here).

This is a very desirable book. The Altemus reprints of this title with pictorial covers are much more valuable than the covers with generic designs.

02 Jul 2015 141

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Good evening...My father has a lot of old books and is not internet savvy so asked me(daughter) to look up more information on this "The Biography of Benjamin Franklin", which pages are beautiful in pristine condition but the outside looks worn a bit ;) The binding keeps all pages in but edges starting around inside of cover are starting to crack :( It says First Edition yet all info so far says its a reprint? Or Series of? I attached photos for view. Is this a reprint/series/any information will make him smile we're huge history buffs. And he has curiosity if with its conditions does a book like this still have value? Thank you so much for your time.

A:  Your book is part of the Petit Trianon Series and was published in 1897. During that year all of the titles in this series had the dot pattern on the left of the front cover. On the right was one of many decorative patterns. I have seen 14 different as of this time. Several are shown here. The book was originally sold within a labeled box.

All of the volumes in this series are reprints. A few very collectible titles have some value but most (including yours) really have only nominal value. In addition the cover of your book is in poor shape making it a hard sell regardless.

30 Jun 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Just interested in finding out what year my "the Pilgrims Progress" was published, and what it might be worth. Thank you.

A:  This book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1904. It originally came within a labeled box. (Sample shown here). All of the titles in this series are reprints. Your book has nominal value.

During this year the volumes of the Vademecum Series had one of four flower pattern illustrated on appliqués on the front cover. They are shown here.

I have seen these covers in several different colors. Some are shown here.

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Last Revision: January 3, 2018