Jun 27, 2024 - Sale 2675

Sale 2675 - Lot 216

Price Realized: $ 185,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 60,000 - $ 90,000
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," moderate wear to backstrip; minor foxing to contents; six signatures of early owner on pastedowns, title page and second leaf. In modern custom ¼ morocco slipcase. 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 4 of the 41 variants noted in Jenson: page 144 reads "obout", page 212 is numbered "122"; page 507 reads "which is in my name", and page 521 reads "rum-derers." 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.

Provenance: early owner D.W.C. Mott, probably the De Witt C. Mott (1810-1863) who lived in Morrisania, NY, or the De Witt Clinton Mott (1827-1897) who emigrated from Saratoga, NY to Calhoun County, Michigan by 1850; bought by Alfred L. Bush, longtime curator of Western Americana at Princeton University's Firestone Library, circa 1962 for $50 (discussed in the New York Times, 20 September 2007); consigned by his estate.