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The following are questions submitted via email by our visitors.

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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
04 Nov 2009 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Can you help me identify this book of Poe's Poems? There is no copyright date in it, and I'd love to know how old it is. I can't find any covers like it online. Every page is intact, but no page with the copyright date. It was printed in Philadelphia by the Henry Altemus Company. In the back is a listing of other publications of Henry Altemus Company that are advertised as having Title pages, etched portraits, full cloth ivory finish and embossed gold and inlaid colors with side titles, boxed for 40 cents, with a second list of gift books for 50 cents each. There is also a listing of 'new' publications - Galopoff, the Talking Pony, by Tudor Jenks,Gypsy, the Talking Dog, by Tudor Jenks, Caps and Capers, by Bagrielle E. Jackson, Doughnuts and Diplomas, by Gabrielle E Jackson, For prey and Spolls; or The Boy Buccaneer, by Fred A Ober, and Tommy Foster's Adventures, by Fred A Ober. Since those are listed as new, I looked up Tommy Foster's Adventures, by Fred A Ober and found that it was published in 1901. That would mean that this Poe's Poems is at least that old, right? What is it's value?

A:  This book is part of the Petit Trianon Series. This series consisted of numerous books which were all reprints of previously published works. Fiction, non fiction, essays, poetry, short stories all are seen in this series. Your book is the 1901-1902 version of this series. In those years the left side has been seen in blue, pink, and white. The blue and the pink are less common than the white. 16 different flower pictures have been seen on the right half of the cover. Yours is #3-Rose

These Poe's reprints are very common. Despite that, they are frequently advertised incorrectly as first editions and sell for relatively high sums on some auction sites. Good for the seller but unfortunate for the buyer.


03 Nov 2009 80

The Eternal Life Series

Q:  I have this book can you tell me anything?

A:  This book is part of Series 80- The Eternal Life Series. This book is #8 in that series and was published between 1896 and 1898. Books of this series have the leatherette covers. At this point in time eight different covers have been seen for each title. These books have only nominal value.


02 Nov 2009 110

In His Name Series

Q:  Hello, I inherited the attached book and after my dog ripped the first page I started to do some research on it (after putting him in the kennel of course)…but can’t find any info on it. There is no publication date except there is a date someone wrote (1908) by hand on the interior. When was this book published? Do you know anything about ‘Little Pillows’? It isn’t listed anywhere in the site. I assume it’s part of the reprint series?

A:  This book is part of the In His Name Series, Format 2. There are 16 possible flower picture. Yours is #10 Lily of the Valley. It was published in the 1903-1904 range. This book originally had a dust jacket.


27 Oct 2009 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Hi I found this book The Chimes by Charles Dickens at a yard sale and I have been trying to find out its age and if it is a 1st edition and have found nothing, so I decided to go another route, through the publisher which has led me to the expert, you. So I guess the question is what can you tell me about my book?

A:  Your book is a late reprint. The first edition was published in the 1840's. Your book is part of the Vademecum Series. It was published in 1915.

Altemus published no first editions of Charles Dickens. Altemus published books for reading for the first time in 1889 which was nineteen years after Dickens died.

See: Series 180


12 Sep 2009 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have a book I found in a Thrift Store a few years ago and cannot find any info on how much it is worth or if it is a collectible.

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
Henry Morley Introduction
Henry Altemus Publication Philadelphia


A:  Your book was published in 1901 as part of the Vademecum Series

The cover illustration was done by Alphonse Mucha as part of his seasons illustrations. It is spring.
See also Series 180

The book is very nice but has very little value.

Of interest is that I have yet to see Mucha's autumn. I have seen the other three seasons numerous times.


22 Jul 2009 75

Devotional Series

Q:  I was emailing in regards to a book in which we have and it is printed by Henry Altemus Company Philadelphia and it is by Henry Drummond and it is called the Natural Law in the Spiritual World.

If you could please email some information I would appreciate it as there is no publication date on it.


A:  This book is part of the Devotional Series. This series of religious titles was published between 1895 and 1933. The book pictured here is part of Format 5 and was printed between 1898 and 1924. It originally came in a labeled box.

Its date can be determined by studying the ads in the back and figuring out when the books/series were published. This is relatively easy to do. Also if the title page says Henry Altemus Company the book was published in 1900 or later. If it says Henry Altemus it was published prior to 1900.


16 Jul 2009 74

Dainty Series

Q:  I have a book that was given to me that I am curious about. It is called The Children's Shakespeare written by E. Nesbit published by Philiadelphia Henry Altemus Company Copyright 1900. I found it in your archives under the Dainty Series. It is almost exactly the same with the exception that it does not have the Henry Altemus.com the bottom of it. Can you tell me a bit about it? Here is the picture. Is it rare? A first edition?

A:  Your book is part of the 5th format of this series. Dainty Series.
Thus it is not an Altemus first edition.

It is not especially rare and has very little collector interest especially without a dust jacket.


14 Jul 2009 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  Would you mind taking a look at this book for me? I have had a hard time finding one exactly like it. MARMION: A TALE OF A FLODDEN FIELD

A:  Your book can be found in the Petit Trianon Series here Series 143 in the 1901-1902 published books.

The cover illustration was done by Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939). He was a well know Czech artist who excelled in the art nouveau area. He illustrated magazine covers, book covers, posters etc.

He illustrated two of the the Petit Trianon 1901-1902 covers. This one is called Poetry. Altemus modified the picture a bit as can be seen with the side by side comparison. If you look carefully, it appears that on the Altemus cover the woman has her elbows on a book.

In 1901 the Vademecum Series (#180) has 4 Mucha covers.


30 Jun 2009 184

Waistcoat Pocket Series

Q:  can you tell me anything about this book, i think its the fifth edition, it has 107 pages and 1 illustration in the front and is it worth anything 4 3/8x2 7/8 suede i think. and is it worth anything?

A:  This series (Waistcoat Pocket Series) of 10 books had three formats, the last of which is where this books belongs. Limp velvet with gold gilt script writing. All of the books originally came in a labeled box. An example of the box is shown here.

Unfortunately the titles are not very collectible and without the box the book has little value.

As an aside, this book was reprinted from an earlier edition and is not, in fact, the "fifth edition".


22 Jun 2009 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  Hello- I have a copy of copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne's , A Wonder Book - publisher Henry Altemus Company. There is no publishing date but an inscription and date: Margaret Waggener, "Xmas 1894" with additional date 1904.

The cover is grey cloth, with two short inset columns (top right and left sides) with daffodils in yellow and red. In between the columns is a very ornate design that has worn off the yellow coloring.

Can you give me any history information? Do you know what it's value would be?


A:  This is another publisher's series book. This is a 1905-1906 Vademecum Series title. The books of this series are perhaps the most common of all publisher's series books and this is one of the most commonly found covers (years).

The cover has been seen in a number of colors and 4 different applique flowers have been seen.

Because the title and format are not widely collected, the book has only nominal value.

I am unsure what the significance of the inscription of 1894 is except to note that it has nothing to do with the date of this book.Series 180


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