(MORMONS.) The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. 8vo, original calf, scuffed and worn, backstrip blind-tooled in seven double bands in gilt, original black leather spine label, backstrip worn and chipped, joints splitting and weak, text block coming detached from binding; hinges split, dampstaining, foxing, pencil marginal notes on many early leaves; later owner's inscription on front free endpaper. Palmyra, NY: E.B. Grandin, 1830
Estimate $40,000 - 60,000
first edition of the scripture of the mormon church, released just days before the official establishment of the church on 6 April 1830. This was the only edition listing Joseph Smith as the "author and proprietor" rather than as the translator, and the only edition with his 2-page preface. This copy has the 2 pages of witness testimony at the end, but not the index pages which were inserted on later copies. The first edition was printed with numerous variants; Crawley concludes that "very few copies of the book exist which are entirely identical." This copy includes the uncorrected sheets for 5 of the 41 variants noted in Jenson: page 207 reads "exceding" and "grert," page 212 is misprinted as "122"; the word "brethrren" appears on page 341; and page 507 reads "Christ, which is in my name." See Janet Jenson, "Variations between Copies of the First Edition of the Book of Mormon," BYU Studies 13 (Winter 73), 214-222. Crawley 1; Flake 595; Grolier Hundred 37; Howes S623; Sabin 83038; Streeter sale IV:2262. Orson Pratt preached in Bridgewater, PA, not far from Kirtland, OH, in November 1835, baptized two of its residents, and "parted with two Books of Mormon" according to his published journal. This copy is inscribed by Guy H. Bevington (1889-1958) of West Bridgewater, PA; census records show that he moved to Ohio by 1920, so his inscription likely dates to circa 1910.