Nov 17, 2016 - Sale 2432

Sale 2432 - Lot 225

Price Realized: $ 67,500
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 40,000 - $ 60,000
FIRST EDITION (MORMONS.) The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. 588, [2] pages. 8vo, publisher's calf, backstrip blind-tooled in seven double bands, original black leather spine label blind-stamped "Book of Mormon," gilt worn off, moderate rubbing and wear but joints strong; foxing, moderate dampstaining and wrinkling, short tear to leaf 31:6; inscribed on front free endpaper "Esqr Waits Ball's and Archelaus Green's equal property, June 16th 1831." Palmyra, NY: E.B. Grandin, 1830

Additional Details

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 in 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 only 3 of the 41 variants noted in Jenson: page 212 is misnumbered 122; page 507 reads "which is in my name" rather than "which is my name"; and "rum-derers" on page 521. This makes it closest to Joseph Smith's corrected text of any of the seven copies we have handled. 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 ("b"); Sabin 83038; Streeter sale IV:2262.
Provenance: the original owners Wait Ball (1754-1837) and Archelaus Green (1770-1843) were residents of Virgil, in Cortland County, NY. We find no record of early missions to Virgil. However, a wagon train of Mormons headed west from Colesville, NY to Kirtland, OH in April 1831, and passed within a few miles of Virgil en route to Ithaca. See Porter, "The Colesville Branch and the Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon," BYU Studies 10:3 (Spring 1970), pages 365–385.