Friday, February 21, 2014

One of the "25 finest surviving copies" of the  First Edition BOOK OF MORMON [1830] 

In 1829, Joseph Smith made plans to print the Book of Mormon.  He contacted a local newspaper publisher and bookstore owner in Palmyra, New York named E. B. Grandin.  Mr. Grandin agreed to print 5,000 copies for $3,000.  Martin Harris, a friend of Joseph Smith,  mortgaged his farm to acquire the funds for the printing of the Book of Mormon.

The 1830 first edition Book of Mormon was originally bound in brown calf, plain except for the seven double bands in gilt on the spine with a black leather label stamped in gilt with "BOOK OF MORMON". The end sheets are of the same paper as the text.  The copyright notice appears on the verso of the title page.  A preface (pp. [iii]-iv) explains the loss of the initial 116 pages of manuscript and the revelation of Joseph Smith not to retranslate that part but to begin with the plates of Nephi.  Only the 1830 edition has this preface.  Pages 5-588 contain the main text, and the testimonies of the three and of the eight witnesses occur on both sides of the leaf following page 588.  (Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, Vol. 1 pg. 31)

This is one of the finest first edition copies of the Book of Mormon to come on the market in many years.  Of the original 5,000 copies, as few as 500 have survived.  I have seen over 150 of these surviving copies.  Based on the vast number of copies that I have seen and handled,  I would say that this copy, which rates a solid "9" on a "1-10" scale, is easily one of the 25 finest surviving copies in the world.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

I just posted several new photos on my Pinterest page about the "First Edition Book of Mormon".
I just acquired a very rare "red label" first edition Book of Mormon.  Most copies (around 97%) have a black label.  About 2% have a tan or brown label.  And only a few have the red label.