Jump to content

1st Edition Book of Mormon Sold - Record-setting Amount


Recommended Posts

Here:

Quote

NEW YORK CITY – Printed and manuscript Americana held forth at Swann Galleries on September 30, filling the space with manuscript diaries, religious tracts, periodicals, historical prints and more. The sale totaled $938,298, offering 349 lots, 309 of which sold for an 89 percent sell-through rate by lot.

The top spot in the sale went to a first edition of The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. The copy, which provenance assigned to an early (but probably not original) owner named Nicholas Summerbell (1816-1889), sold for $112,500, exceeding its $75,000 high estimate and posting a record for the book. Summerbell signed the front flyleaf and title page and also added the date 1858. He was born in Peekskill, N.Y., was a Protestant clergyman in Cincinnati by 1850, and in 1858 became the founding president of Union Christian College in Meron, Ind. This first edition of the scripture of the Mormon church, released just days before the official establishment of the church on April 6, 1830, was the only edition listing Joseph Smith as the “author and proprietor” rather than as the translator, and the only edition with his two-page preface.

$112,500.  Wow.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment

Not $112,500, because it is a later edition (by a few years) but ...

Edited by Kenngo1969
Link to comment
1 hour ago, smac97 said:

............$112,500.  Wow................

I purchased an excellent 1830 ed of the BofM for $300 in about 1983 in Independence, Missouri, and promptly donated it to FARMS in Provo.  I think that the Maxwell Institute now has it, but am not sure.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, pogi said:

The dude musts have been desperate to pawn a $40,000 book for $24,000

 

You probably know this.  I gather your comment is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but, of course, there has to be at least some profit margin left for the pawn shop ... That's why I laugh when, on the show, people bring in an item and say, "Well, you just had its value appraised at $[x], so I'll take $[x]."  And, of course, the pawn shop owner (Rick Harrison, or any other pawnshop owner, really ...) is sitting there thinking to himself or herself, "Why would I buy something for the appraised value?  That means, pretty much, that I'd have to turn around and sell it for that, as well, and I'm not going to make any money off of the deal that way, so ..."  And the guy who bought it has had dealings with Rick Harrison before, so if he thinks he's simply getting screwed over, why bother continuing to to business with him? 

And even if someone makes a supposedly-"bad" deal selling something, cash is fungible, while the item sold (no matter how much it might be worth) is not.  Sometimes, the sale is less about driving the hardest bargain possible in an effort to get the best deal possible, and more about trading a non-fungible asset for a fungible one.

Edited by Kenngo1969
Link to comment
23 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

You probably know this.  I gather your comment is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but, of course, there has to be at least some profit margin left for the pawn shop ...

Absolutely.  Taking such a valuable item to a pawn shop is a sign of desperation, for that reason.  A pawn shop is no place for a rare Book of Mormon.  It shows that the seller doesn't truly value the book or just really needed quick money - and a lot of it.  For just a little more effort, he could have easily sold it for the appraised value - I am sure the increased effort would have been well worth the extra $16K

Link to comment

I absolutely adore books, been a bookseller for 20 years.  But while I appreciate old books for their aesthetic value, I've never really understood the value in "collectibles".

I love these Books of Mormon for their content and the old book aesthetic.  I have no idea what would make them worth 6 figures.

Link to comment
6 hours ago, pogi said:

Absolutely.  Taking such a valuable item to a pawn shop is a sign of desperation, for that reason.  A pawn shop is no place for a rare Book of Mormon.  It shows that the seller doesn't truly value the book or just really needed quick money - and a lot of it.  For just a little more effort, he could have easily sold it for the appraised value - I am sure the increased effort would have been well worth the extra $16K

I think that particular guy did it just to advertise his name and his business on a national TV show.  He's obviously known by the people in the show as a bookseller.  He didn't strike me as the desperate type.  He knew what he was getting into before the book was appraised. He knew his stuff.

Link to comment
12 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I love these Books of Mormon for their content and the old book aesthetic.  I have no idea what would make them worth 6 figures.

An ever increasing number of wealthy Mormons who desire to own a piece of church history.

 

Link to comment
13 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I absolutely adore books, been a bookseller for 20 years.  But while I appreciate old books for their aesthetic value, I've never really understood the value in "collectibles".

I love these Books of Mormon for their content and the old book aesthetic.  I have no idea what would make them worth 6 figures.

There is something tangible in holding/owning a 200 year old book that may have been owned or used by either our ancestors or by those who founded Mormonism. Both link us to our past. One of my favorite books I own is a 1876 hardbound copy of The Juvenile Instructor that was at one time in the Church History library. I like to think BY may have held that very copy in his hands. 

I would get your PoGP appraised again and insure it for that value. I suspect it is worth a lot more than 10K. 

Link to comment
20 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I purchased an excellent 1830 ed of the BofM for $300 in about 1983 in Independence, Missouri, and promptly donated it to FARMS in Provo.  I think that the Maxwell Institute now has it, but am not sure.

There was an 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon on display in the 2nd-Floor Reading Room/Periodicals Collection of the Harold B. Lee Library last year, it might have been the very same. Then again, I imagine BYU probably has a few first-edition copies of the Book of Mormon lying around.

Link to comment
2 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

There was an 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon on display in the 2nd-Floor Reading Room/Periodicals Collection of the Harold B. Lee Library last year, it might have been the very same. Then again, I imagine BYU probably has a few first-edition copies of the Book of Mormon lying around.

Yes.  HBLL Special Collections probably still has some in their vault.  They did years ago.

Link to comment

When I was in DC about 7 years ago, the Library of Congress had a first addition Book of Mormon that you could look at.  You had to first get a library card.  Then they brought it out, gave us white gloves and we could leaf through it.  They said it was the most popular book to be shown and they were thinking about putting it on permanent display.  This would take it out of the publics hands and no long be available for personal viewing.  Not sure if they have done that or if you can still leaf through the book personally.

Has anyone else done this??

 

Link to comment
On 10/12/2021 at 11:55 AM, smac97 said:

Here:

NEW YORK CITY – Printed and manuscript Americana held forth at Swann Galleries on September 30, filling the space with manuscript diaries, religious tracts, periodicals, historical prints and more. The sale totaled $938,298, offering 349 lots, 309 of which sold for an 89 percent sell-through rate by lot.

The top spot in the sale went to a first edition of The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. The copy, which provenance assigned to an early (but probably not original) owner named Nicholas Summerbell (1816-1889), sold for $112,500, exceeding its $75,000 high estimate and posting a record for the book. Summerbell signed the front flyleaf and title page and also added the date 1858. He was born in Peekskill, N.Y., was a Protestant clergyman in Cincinnati by 1850, and in 1858 became the founding president of Union Christian College in Meron, Ind. This first edition of the scripture of the Mormon church, released just days before the official establishment of the church on April 6, 1830, was the only edition listing Joseph Smith as the “author and proprietor” rather than as the translator, and the only edition with his two-page preface.

$112,500.  Wow.

Thanks,

-Smac

tsk tsk tsk.  And they couldn't even print the correct name of our Church in their ad.  The Mormon church.  Good grief.  How many times do we need to keep telling everybody we are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Here's a first edition of the Book of Mormon everybody can read, for free, on their own phone or tablet or computer.  For free I say.  Try this and use that amount of money to buy some groceries for some people, or some clothing, or something more useful.

Electronic print is the latest update for old fashioned paper and ink!  The paper and ink version is pretty dang near ready to fall apart or at least start to fall apart any day now.

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/book-of-mormon-1830/16

Link to comment
3 hours ago, california boy said:

When I was in DC about 7 years ago, the Library of Congress had a first addition Book of Mormon that you could look at.  You had to first get a library card.  Then they brought it out, gave us white gloves and we could leaf through it.  They said it was the most popular book to be shown and they were thinking about putting it on permanent display.  This would take it out of the publics hands and no long be available for personal viewing.  Not sure if they have done that or if you can still leaf through the book personally.

Has anyone else done this??

 

No, but I'll have to check it out. 

Link to comment
5 hours ago, bOObOO said:

........................

Here's a first edition of the Book of Mormon everybody can read, for free, on their own phone or tablet or computer.  For free I say.  Try this and use that amount of money to buy some groceries for some people, or some clothing, or something more useful........................

Some people invest in collectibles -- art, rare books, etc. -- in order to have it appreciate in value.  It can then be used for retirement or education.

Link to comment
6 hours ago, california boy said:

When I was in DC about 7 years ago, the Library of Congress had a first addition Book of Mormon that you could look at.  You had to first get a library card.  Then they brought it out, gave us white gloves and we could leaf through it.  They said it was the most popular book to be shown and they were thinking about putting it on permanent display.  This would take it out of the publics hands and no long be available for personal viewing.  Not sure if they have done that or if you can still leaf through the book personally.

Has anyone else done this??

I examined all the 1830 editions in the RLDS Archives in Independence, and all those in the HBLL Special Collections.  Had to check certain readings which varied within that one edition.

Link to comment
11 hours ago, strappinglad said:

I wonder what the 116 pages manuscript would be worth today. I should probably ask Mark....oh wait. 

It's probably still in someone's attic out in New England or upstate New York.  If I had it, I'd ask a cool $million.  Mark Hofmann planned to create the 116 pages, but don't know what he expected to ask for it.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...