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Questions & Answers
Date Series Num Information
10 Jul 2006 180

Vademecum Series - Later numbering

Q:  a copy of Emerson's essays ...... It was published by Henry Altemus, copyright 1899, and had "first edition" apparently stamped(?) on the title page, (the different font and ink color led me to believe it was applied after the initial printing/binding). The cover is a plain brown with some embossed flowers which appear to have had some color at some point in time. A hand-written inscription on the first page showed that the book had been given as a Christmas gift - also in 1899. ... Can you tell me any more about this book?

A:  Your book was part of the Vademecum Series. This series was published from 1894-1926. It consisted of numerous reprints-fiction, non fiction, poetry, religious etc. The cover format changed more than 30 times. Some years there might be as many as three different formats of the same title within this series. At its peak it consisted of 187 books.

Your book was published in 1899. The cover decoration of this format came in many different colors. I am enclosing a blue cover for your interest. Altemus did the Emerson title in at least 21 series beginning in 1892.

30 Jun 2006 146

Poems We Love

Q:  I have a small green leather-bound book copy of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, published by Henry Altemus Co but without a publishing date. The leather green except around the edges where it is slightly worn, and turned brownish. The title letters are in gold and there is a gold lyre printed on the cover. The tops of the pages are beautifully gilt in gold and in marvelous condition. The pages have not been cut apart and so the outer edges of the pages are uneven. Is this a printer's proof? It seems unlikely it would have been gilt. More likely, it has just not been fully cut.
Any idea of its value? Any other information you could give me about this beautiful book? Date??

A:  I believe that you have a book from the 10 book series- Poems We Love Series (#146) published in 1912 and reprinted until 1915. The books are occasionally found without page separation. These volumes are seen frequently and although you never know what someone will pay for something, they have little collector value. The exception would be if you had the box that the book came in originally.

I am enclosing a picture of the book format which I think you are describing.

30 Jun 2006 179

Vademecum Series (early numbering)

Q:  I'm just curious about anything you could tell me about this book. Its dated 1894, and lists 3 other books as being by Hawthorne, but I have no other information aside from the publishers (obviously). I recently purchased it for a couple dollars at a flea market. I can send a picture if that would help.

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series (Series #179). This series was published between 1894 and 1926. At its peak it included 187 books all of which were reprints-fiction, nonfiction, essays, poetry etc. This multi volume, multi authored series generally changed the included volumes as well as the covers yearly for the first number of years and every few years later on. These books originally came with a box.

30 Jun 2006 180

Vademecum Series (later numbering)

Q:  I bought this book at a Goodwill yesterday and I was trying to find the year that this was published. This is the only information on the book and it is 634 pages long. Pleas send me any information on this book if you have any.

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series (#180). It was published in 1902.

30 Jun 2006 180

Vademecum Series (later numbering)

Q:  I hope you can help me. I have Treasure Island, 271 pages, the 1st says "To The Hesitating Purchaser . . .", and the 2nd says "TO S. L. O., . . . . by his affectionate friend, THE AUTHOR". The book lists other Henry Altemus Company publications in the back. I'm trying to determine when this was published and the value.

A:  Your book is part of the Vademecum Series (Series #180). This was a set of books which was multi authored and consisted of many titles. Your book was published in the mid teens or later. Originally it had gold gilt on the cover which apparently has worn off over the years. The book also came with a jacket.

Without a jacket in subpar condition I do not think the book has any more than nominal value. It is relatively common.

30 Jun 2006 202

Young People's Library

Q:  I have a book named Exploring and Discovery in the Frozen Seas (copyright 1896). Could you tell me about it, was it a series? Thanks

A:  Your book is part of the Young's People Library. It is in format #3.
This format was published beginning in 1902 and continued into the 1920s.
Dating your book exactly can be done by using the ads in the back plus the dust jacket (which unfortunately is not present on this book).
A couple of tips: If the book Vic is listed in the Young People's Library books in the back ads, then your book is pre-1907. If not, post-1907. If Circus Boys #4is listed, then it is post 1912.

27 Jun 2006 47

Beauxarts Series

Q:  I have a very old Representative Men by Ralph Waldo Emerson and am trying to verify the Henry Altemus printing date. The book is in excellent condition, but there is no copyright date printed. The only date shown is on the cover page, which simply shows H.A. on one side of the frame and 1842 on the other side of the frame. However I think that is the Altemus date and not specific to this volume. I know that Emerson wrote this in approximately 1850 and am wondering if I may have come across a 1st Edition?

A:  Your book (which is a reprint) was published as part of the Beauxarts Series (Series #47) in 1897 . This series was published between 1897 and 1902. It consisted of numerous reprinted titles of fiction and nonfiction by many different authors. At its peak it had 178 books. The books initially came boxed.

27 Jun 2006 143

Petit Trianon Series

Q:  I have an old book 'Oliver W. Holmes Poems', Philadelphia Henry Altemus Co. There is no copy write date on it, but the first poem is Cambridge Churchyard on pg 13. Could you tell me the date it was printed & what is it worth.
Thank you,

A:  Your book was published as part of the Petit Trianon Series in 1901-1902. Because it is in rather rough shape without its original box, I think it only has nominal value. See the question and answer on June 15, 2006 about this series.

26 Jun 2006 74

Dainty Series

Q:  I am doing research on two books published by the Henry Altemus Company. They were written by Mary D. Brine and published in 1900 and 1903. They are The Doings of a Little Couple (1900) and How a Little Couple Went Abroad (1903). I am interested in finding out the name of the illustrator or illustrators for each book. Would you have that information? They are going to be used in an exhibition and we would like to identify the artist of the illustration for the public. Additional information you can provide on the books would also be most helpful. Your web page was a wonderful find. If you could place the books within your series I would be most appreciative. I have attached a photograph of each book to assist you.

A:  I am unable to help with the illustrators. Sorry.

Both books were part of the Dainty Series (Series #74). The Dainty Series was a series of total of 26 books of which yours are numbered 9 (Doings..) and 15 (How..). There were a number of different formats. Your books are from Format 2 and were published in the early 1900s. They all came with dust jackets. I am enclosing a picture of what the format 2 books' jacket looked like. This series was occasionally called the Honor Bright Series in some catalogues.

15 Jun 2006 115

La Belle Fleur Series

Q:  hello, i have a little book by this publisher (Altemus.) It is "Evangeline and Other Poems." There is no date anywhere. The book is brown cloth with red tulips and greenery on the cover. There are several illustrations. Can you tell me anything about this beautiful little book? Thanks

A:  Your book was published in 1901 as part of the La Belle Fleur Series. This series consisted of 131 books which were reprints of various essays, poems, religious works and fiction. The books all had the same basic cover design but the colors varied.

It originally came with a dust jacket but these jackets are nearly impossible to find nowadays. It has little value although when it comes to buying books sometimes people are willing to pay more than a book is objectively worth.

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