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The following are questions submitted via email by our visitors.

If you have a question about Altemus books that you'd like answered please click on the Questions link at the bottom left of this page.

We recommend that those inquiring about the identification of a particular book format send pictures along with their question.


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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
14 Jan 2015 202

Young People's Library

Q:  I have attached pictures of a book (A Child's Life of Christ) I have and am wondering if you have any idea of the value. It looks like, from the description on your website, it is a 1st Edition? Anyway, please take a look and see what you think!

A:  Your book is part of The Young People's Library, Format 1. It was published in 1895. There were two 1895 editions. The earlier one (yours) has only six books listed on the copyright page. Later 1895 editions have a book list that ends with Gulliver's Travels.

It is not a widely collected title and in average shape it has only nominal value.

12 Jan 2015 78

Dore's Masterpieces

Q:  Dear Sir/Ma’am,
My husband gave me a book he got from an estate sale titled “The Dore Bible Gallery” illustrated by Gustave Dore. It is signed as a gift from Uncle Ed Christmas 1888 and on the title page it has:
Henry Altemus
507, 509, 511 and 513 Cherry Street

I would guess that it was published in 1887 but if you have any more information that would be helpful, it would be greatly appreciated.

I will insert the pictures for you to reference.

The book is 9.5 x 12 and has the same imprint as shown on format 1 #1 but it’s color is doesn’t match these. It is the same color as the second book on the third row (the grayer light blue) It’s also dated by the gift giver as 1888 but the text says they are published 1889 and later. Any input?

A:  See Dore's Masterpieces for information on your book.

These books were published in numerous colors. The colors shown on the website are the ones I have but are not all of the possible colors.

Books were frequently released for sale around Christmas time. The 1889 books would have been for sale starting in December, 1888. So the inscription makes sense.

10 Jan 2015

Non Series

Q:  I have a book which I didn't find right off on your site. The book is: Names For Children by Scovil. Can you give me more information?

The date is 1897 and published by Philadelphia Henry Altemus Company which contradicts your site's assertion that books with Henry Altemus Company are printed 1900 and beyond.

Worldcat has only one listing for the book and is published by Altemus and dated 1897.

This book is definitely old and amazingly it has the original dust jacket which is in very nice condition considering. Attached are three photos - the D.J. mimics the book front. The paper of the D.J. is grey-tan (inside flap is a more grey color).

Any more info would be much appreciated.

A:  Thank you for your pictures. This book can be found here: ../images/NS_101.htm

Your book was published after 1900 as the imprint is Henry Altemus Company. The copyright is 1897 but as you know the copyright is not necessarily the date of publication. Altemus published this book over a number of years in a couple of different editions.

Since Altemus incorporated in 1900 all books with this imprint were published in 1900 or later. There are a few exceptions in which books with the imprint of Henry Altemus were published after 1900.

The presence or absence in the Worldcat or NUC or elsewhere is irrelevant since countless books and their various editions are not listed. It is a good place to start to research books but far from the final word.

08 Jan 2015 69

Classic Series

Q:  I have looked all over the internet for a book like this one and have had no luck. It is about 5 1/2 inches and the handwritten inscription says it was a gift in 1916. What can you tell me about this book (Rip Van Winkle)? I appreciate your time.

A:  Hello, Your book is part of the Classics Series and was published in the 1907 or so era. It originally came with a dust jacket. An example is shown here.

It only has nominal value.

06 Jan 2015 48

Beauxarts Series

Q:  I purchased a copy of The Scarlet Letter, by Hawthorne, while on vacation in Florida. The cover design caught my attention and I just had to have it. I cannot for the life of me, however, find a similar copy online anywhere.

I read your blog post regarding the "preface to the second edition," and had assumed that this must have been a reprinting error/quirk, but I wanted to make sure since it doesn't appear to be dated anywhere.

I've attached a photo of the cover and the title page. It looks like a Beauxart series print but that's just a guess on my part. I was wondering if you could possibly give me any further info regarding the book, its printing date, etc.

A:  Your book is part of the Beauxarts Series and was published in 1902. It originally came in a labeled box. See here for an example.

As you have realized, your book is a reprint of the second edition, not the second edition.

This book only has nominal value.

04 Jan 2015 127

Love and Friendship Series

Q:  I came across a early copy of "The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow" and was hoping you could provide some insight as to the edition and year published. If possible, could you also render an opinion on the value? Thanks for your assistance.

A:  Your book is part of the Love and Friendship Series. It is part of Format 2. The exact date of publication is not known but the range is between 1902 and around 1905.

This book originally came with a dust jacket. (A sample is shown here.) The format 2 books have been seen with two different colors on the left side of the cover. The right side has one of sixteen different flower pictures.

Your book is a reprint, has little collector interest and will be hard to sell at any price.

02 Jan 2015 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  Can you identify the year of publication? Is it worth anything? They are In Memoriam by Tennyson, The Princess and Maud also by Tennyson and Bab Ballads and Savoy Songs by Gilbert. Thank you for your help.

A:  Your books are part of the Vademecum Series and were published in 1898. They are all reprints.

They only have nominal value.

21 Dec 2014 163

Sanspareil Series

Q:  I just received this copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Louis Carroll and I am struggling to find any clues to the origins I'd this book (such as the age, series, or worth) and I was hoping you could give me some insight, I saw a copy of Black Beauty on Amazon with the same hard cover but neither have a dust cover so although I know is published by Altemus I don't know which copy this is.

A:  Your book is part of the Sanspareil Series and was published in 1899. It originally came with a dust jacket.

During this year, a number of different color covers were published. Some of these in addition to a representative dust jacket picture are shown on the series page.

There are quite a few "Alice" collectors. The Altemus Alice books that have a picture on the cover seem to sell for much higher prices than the publisher's series Alice's. Thus, unless you find a collector that just has to have this format, your book will probably not sell for very much.

19 Dec 2014 47

Beauxarts Series

Q:  I have attached an image of the book that I have in my possession published by Henry Altemus, Philadelphia. The bookplate from the original owner has the date of 1898 in it, and I have been unable to see another copy with this binding. I was wondering if you could give me anymore information on it. Thank you.

A:  Your book is part of the Beauxarts Series and was published in 1898.

It is a reprint as are all the books in this series. It only has nominal value.

The books of this series were published in a number of color combinations during this year.

17 Dec 2014 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Is this book worth anything? The Queen of the Air

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1904. This title is a reprint as are all of the titles in this series. Originally this volume came with a labeled box. A representative box is shown here.

These 1904 books have been seen in numerous colors. There are four different flower pictures that were used for the paste-on strips on the front cover.

Unless the title is one that is collectable, the books generally only have nominal value.

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