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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
28 Jul 2007 202

Young People's Library - Format 3

Q:  The attached picture shows the cover of the book Swiss Family Robinson by Altemus Henry. The inside is stamped 1893-Philadelphia Henry Altemus Company, Can you give us an idea of its worth? Thanks.

A:  Your book is part of the Young People's Library-Format 3 published between 1902 and 1923. The exact date could be determined by reviewing the ads in the back of the book. Although a nice book, it is worth no more than nominal value because of lack of collector interest.

23 Jun 2007 79

Esperance Series

Q:  I am attempting to get some information about a book that was given to me many years ago by a family friend. It is a copy of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. On the title page it says
Henry Altemus Company
On the back side of that page it says: "Copyright 1896 by Henry Altemus"

It is a small 6 1/4" long x 4 1/2" wide with a soft suede green cover with a pattern of embossed oak (?) leaves on the cover. The front cover is faded but the gilt lettering of the title is still easily readable. Inside there is a split between the lower half of the first 3 pages and the rest of the pages in the book (along the spine).

Can you give me any idea of when it was actually printed, it's orginal cost and value today?

A:  I am enclosing a picture of what I think you are describing. This book comes from the Esperance Series. If I am incorrect, let me know.

Info about this series is at:
Esperance Series

These books were published later than your 1896 copyright. The 1896 reflects when Altemus first published this title. (In a different format).

Your book originally came with a box.

Without the box the book does not usually sell for more than nominal value. Of course, you never know what someone will pay.

11 Jun 2007 37

Altemus Library

Q:  I have a small book called, Chesterfield's Letters? It is gray with a silver and red coat of arms on the front? On the edge of the book it says Altemus, and inside there is a script that says Letters, Sentences and Maxims - Lord Chesterfield Henry Altemus Philadelphia. Then there is a page that feels different from the other pages that has a picture of Philip, Earl of Chesterfield? It has a piece of what looks like onion cloth protecting that page? The next page says; Letters, Sentences, and Maxims by Lord Chesterfield, Philadelphia, Henry Altemus 1892. 302 pages. What can you tell me about this book?? Is it rare?? Is it of any value??

A:  I assume the book you are referring to is the one I have pictured below. It is part of the Altemus Library, a series published in the early 1890s. It is neither rare or valuable.
You never know what someone will find worth spending money on but if you get more than nominal value for this book, you should consider yourself fortunate.

11 Jun 2007 75

Devotional Series

Q:  I recently purchased an old copy of "John Ploughman's Talk" by Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon published by Henry Altemus Company, Philadelphia. It has no date in it. I would like to know how old it is. Can you help me? Attached are pictures to help.

A:  Your book is part of the Devotional Series (#75) and was published between 1901-1904. As you can see, there is a picture inside the oval on the cover of the book. There were a number of different pictures with this one appearing most often.

11 Jun 2007 125

Little Men and Women Series

Q:  I have a copy of "Alice in Wonderland And Through The Looking Glass" that appears to be undated. I have attached 2 pictures for your review. Can you please tell me anything about this wonderful, old book?

A:  Your book is from the Little Men and Women Series (#125), It was published between 1908 and 1915. This series of reprints originally came with jackets. Although there is nothing to distinguish the earlier in the series from the later in the series as far as the text goes, the covers and the ads did change as the years advanced. It appears from your cover that your book was one of the later books.

11 Jun 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have found a very old Henry Altemus book. I am waiting for my batteries to recharge to send you a photo.

The title page contains:
Honore De Balzac
Shorter Stories
Henry Altemus
All lettering in Red with Green decorative. The back of the title page lists in red: Copyright 1895 by Henry Altemus

The cover looks strikingly like Series 180 Vademecum. I don't seem to be able to identify this book. I would appreciate any help you can provide.

A:  Your book is a 1901 Vademecum Series book. For several years the Vademecum books had various cover styles within which was a painted picture such as yours. These pictures (of which I know of 27) were used randomly with all of each year's books. The 1901 book came in at least 6 different colors. Thus for any given title there would be at least 162 different combinations of pictures and cover colors. Although any one book might be hard to find, the books of this series are relatively common. Certain titles are a bit more collectible than others. This is not because of scarcity but rather just because the title or author is more widely known. The Alice in Wonderland books by Carroll would be an example. They usually only bring nominal value when sold.

17 Apr 2007 44

Banbury Cross Series

Q:  I have a copy of a book titled "Old Mother Hubbard" with added stories of Puss in Boots and A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go, By Henry Altemus, copyright, 1904. (46 Illustrations. I would be interested in information you may have about the book and if it has any value please.

A:  This ten volume series was published in 1904. These Fairy Tales' books all initially had dust jackets. Value is nominal without the jacket. See ../series/series44.htm for more information.

17 Apr 2007 120

Library of Standard Authors

Q:  We have a Library of Standard Authors book called Tales of Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb. The book is depicted on your website at http://henryaltemus.com/series/series120.htm. It is the first cover on the left.

How do we determine if this book is a first edition?

A:  It is not a first edition. Altemus first published this book in 1892 in the Altemus Library Series. The actual first edition however was published in 1807. As a general rule all Altemus published works of fiction were reprints.

24 Feb 2007 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  I have a book published by Henry Altemus Company, Poems by Oliver Wendell Holmes. The book is about 4 1/2 inches wide and 6 1/2 inches long. 186 pages. The front hardcover has pink, white and green flowers. A fancy design is embossed in gold. I cannot find a date. The print seems to be embossed like it was pressed to print. The contents start out with Cambrigde Churchyard, old Ironsides The last reader, Our Yankee Girls etc. Is there anyway to date this book?? Thanks.

A:  Your book was published in 1901-02 as part of the Petit Trianon Series. Without the original box and because of its poor shape it probably has very little value.

24 Feb 2007 180

Vademecum Series

Q:  I have the "Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin" 4 1/4" by 6 1/4" with no date of publishing. Date and value?

A:  Your book was published in 1907 as part of the Vademecum Series. Although it is obviously a great book in nice condition, it has only nominal value. Perhaps if it had the original box it came in it would be worth a few dollars.

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