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Friday, September 14, 2007

Rare BOOK OF MORMON To Be Auctioned

Brothers and Sisters:

Here is a rather exciting news article I just now saw:



By WILLIAM KATES, Associated Press Writer

A one hundred seventy-seven year-old first edition of the Book of Mormon found in a home near Palmyra, the birthplace of the Mormon religion, will be put up for bid next week at an upstate New York estate auction.

The rare book was discovered at the bottom of a box of books by workers cleaning out the house, said Mark Witmer, manager of the Hessney Auction Company in Geneva, New York.

"When I picked it up, I froze.

I used to own an antiquarian book store, so I knew what it was right away," Witmer said Friday.

The book will be sold Wednesday during a combined estate auction at the company's center in Geneva.

Mormons consider the Book of Mormon to be scripture on par with the Bible.

Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion, said he translated the book from gold plates delivered to him by an angel.

The first editions were printed and published by E. B. Grandin in Palmyra, New York, in Eighteen Thirty.

While there were roughly five thousand copies printed, only a few hundred still exist.

Hessney's book is in good, unrestored condition with its original binding.

However, the gold-leaf lettering has worn off and a blank page in the front is missing.

Increasing interest in rare Mormon documents has sent prices booming in the past decade, said John Hajicek, a private collector from Missouri who owns seventy-five first editions of the Book of Mormon among his twenty million dollar collection of rare books.

There are about two hundred fifty first editions held in private collections (including his) and perhaps an equal number yet undiscovered, Hajicek said.

Research libraries and museums hold about fifty copies, he said.

In March, Auction Galleries of New York City sold a first edition for one hundred eighty thousand dollars (one hundred fifty thousand dollars bid, plus a twenty percent buyer's premium) among the highest prices ever paid for documents associated with the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

That first edition was signed by early apostle Orson Pratt.

An inscription by the book's original owner, Denison Root, indicated the book was a gift from Joseph Smith's brother, Hyrum Smith.

In Nineteen Ninety-Seven, Sotheby's auction house sold a first edition for thirty-two thousand and two hundred dollars.

In Two Thousand, an unnamed buyer purchased a first edition at a West Virginia auction for forty-four thousand dollars.

Hajicek paid fifty-eight thousand dollars for a copy in Nineteen Ninety-Nine during an auction in Salt Lake City.

He said he would be in Geneva to bid on the Hessney copy.


Interesting, huh?

I wonder how many of the folks who are spending all that money on rare Mormon artifacts are members of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints?

Could there possibly be a missionary opportunity here?

Thank you.

John Robert "SAIGON" Mallernee, KB3KWS
Official Bard of Clan Henderson
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Washington, D.C. 20011-8400

NOTE: "My unpopular and controversial personal opinions are independent of my Scottish clan."

1 comment:

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