The top lot of our November 17 sale of Printed & Manuscript Americana was an 1830 first edition of TheBook of Mormon, which sold to a private collector for $67,500. What makes this edition unusual is that it is the only one to list Joseph Smith as the “author and proprietor” rather than the translator. Mormon materials continue to reach new heights in our sales, including the diary of a Methodist preacher named Benajah Williams, describing a meeting that may have inspired Smith’s first vision, which sold for $13,750; a published response by Joseph Smith to a letter from J.A. Bennett, 1844, which sold for $6,750, and a letter by Wilford Woodruff describing the Mormon settlement and the development of Utah, 1877, which reached $25,000.
Lot 225: Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, NY, 1830. Sold November 17, 2016 for $67,500.
Thirty-four of the 37 lots relating to Revolutionary War material sold, many above their estimates. These were led a newspaper printing of Thomas Paine’s 1777 American Crisis brought $37,500, while notes taken during the 1782 Continental Congress by member Arthur Middleton, which include the first reference to Vermont’s statehood, sold for $55,000.
Lot 25: Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, as printed in the Boston Gazette, January 13, 1777. Sold November 17, 2016 for $37,500.