Tuesday, December 11, 2018

1830 Editions

I was in Bryan Crockett's office in Salt Lake this afternoon. He is the printer who did the 1830 Palmyra Collector's Edition of the Book of Mormon, a mass-produced replica of the original 1830 edition. He also did a limited run 1830 Letterpress Edition which is a more faithful replica including cotton rag paper, letterpress printing techniques, calfskin binding, and hand-affixed gold lettered spine titles and decor about as close to the original 1830 as one is likely to get in the modern era. In some of the Letterpress Edition copies, he tips in one original page from a distressed 1830 edition that is being parted out page by page. People who are not likely to ever afford an 1830 edition (which can sell for $100,000 or more) can own a high quality replica that includes a single original page. I purchased two of these Letterpress Edition replicas. One has an original page from Jacob's allegory of the olive tree, the other an original page from the end of 3rd Nephi and the beginning of 4th Nephi.
2 Copies of the LetterPress Replica Edition, and
 1 Copy of the 1830 Palmyra Collector's Edition 
This is a single page from a distressed 1830 edition tipped into a LetterPress Replica Edition.
Left Hand Page is from an 1830 Original Edition
As satisfying as it is to finally own even a single page from one of the original 5,000 copies of the 1830 Book of Mormon, what really grabbed my attention was another book Bryan had on his desk. In his Palmyra print shop, EB Grandin sold an edition of the Bible. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery had Grandin produce the Book of Mormon to be about the same size and have the same look and feel as that Bible so people would easily recognize the new book as holy writ. The book of the left is one of the Bibles EB Grandin sold. The book on the right is one of Crockett's LetterPress Replicas of the 1830 edition Book of Mormon.
Trade Bible Sold in 1830 with Book of Mormon Replica
With both books sharing similar physical characteristics, Ezekiel's prophecy of the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph becoming one in thine hand Ezekiel 37:16-20 seems very real and tangible.