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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
25 Feb 2015 162

Sanspareil Series

Q:  Hello, I was wondering if you could provide any information about this particular copy of Byron's 'Childe Harold's Pilgrimage'.

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

All of the titles in this series are reprints. It originally came with a dust jacket. A representative dust jacket is shown on the series page. It has nominal value.

23 Feb 2015 202

Young People's Library

Q:  I was going through some old family property and found this edition of Through the Looking Glass. I was wondering if you have an insight on its value and the other books that may accompany it.

A:  Your book is part of the Young People's Library, Format 2. It was published between 1898-1900. It originally had a dust jacket. Henry Altemus incorporated in 1900 so your book had to be published in 1900 or earlier.

You can date it exactly by looking at the dating information here: http://www.henryaltemus.com/series/series202F2.htm

This is a very collectible book although it generally does not sell for as much as Carroll's Alice book.

Even though it is quite common, I have seen it sell for anywhere between $10-100. This price range is inexplicable.

21 Feb 2015 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have found an old printing of “The House of the Seven Gables”. It does not indicate if it is a part of a series. It is small, pocket size. I have reviewed your page on the Altemus company trying to find the book. I can see it was printed many times. What puzzles me is the forward, by Henry Tuckerman, has Nathaniel Hawthorne -- 1807 -- There is no death date. This would lead me to believe it was published before his death (1864), but I see no such listing in your page. I also have "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table". Any thoughts?

A:  Both of these books rare part of the Vademecum Series and were published in 1903. They originally came within a labeled box. All of the titles in this publisher's series are reprints.

The appliqués on the front cover are parts of different European paintings. Altemus would cut up these paintings into usable slices and put different ones randomly onto different books. This process is shown at: http://www.henryaltemus.com/vademecum.htm An example is seen with the picture on your "Autocrat" book. Note the more complete picture which encompasses your book's appliqué.

19 Feb 2015 179

Vademecum Series

Q:  I'm hoping you can give me some information on this book I recently bought from a used book store. Tales from Shakespeare. Thank you.

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series and was published in 1896 despite the inscription. It originally was published with a labeled box. All of the titles in this publisher's series were reprints. It only has nominal value.

17 Feb 2015 58

Boys and Girls Classics

Q:  I would like to know something about this book (A Christmas Carol) if you could help. The first 4 pages are missing so I have know idea the year it was published, and can’t find one to compare it to.
Thank you for any help you can give me.

A:  Your book is part of the Boys and Girls Classics Series.

This book style was published between 1899 and 1906 and originally came within a labeled box. Your book can be dated rather accurately by looking at the ads in the back of the book and checking the dating information on the series page noted above. As you know this title is a late reprint as the first edition was published in 1844.

31 Jan 2015 75

Devotional Series

Q:  Hi, I have the book in the attachment (Kept for the Master's Use). I am going to sell it on eBay for a client and I want to have an accurate listing. I have not found this cover in any of the images that I have researched. I believe that it is probably from the Nouvue series but I have found no date in the book. I would appreciate any information that you can give me. Is this book scarce?

A:  Your book is from the Devotional Series.

It was originally sold with a labeled box in the 1901-1904 era.

Interestingly, this format has been seen with different appliqué pictures within the front cover decorative design.

Although the exact title in this exact format is uncommonly found, it is also not a title that is hard to find in numerous formats and it is not a book that is in great demand.

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.

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Last Revision: January 3, 2018