Saturday, April 22, 2017

1830 Leather Bound Book of Mormon Replica / First Edition Book of Mormon Replica / 1830 Book of Mormon Replica

            1830 Leather Bound 
         Book of Mormon replica

The most accurate, mass-produced version in our opinion is the July 2017 release from Stratford Books Distributing, published by Grandin Book Artisans. Retail price: only $29.95.
(inquiries at Details below.

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1830 Book of Mormon replica: 
As a surprisingly authentic replica, it is the only one with all 50 of these features for historical accuracy:        

    -- Leather covers

-- Sewn binding. This is the highest quality bookbinding in the world. It makes books “archival safe,” and is the hallmark of library quality books. The 1830 first edition had it. A replica should too. Most do NOT. Instead they are GLUED ONLY. Factoid about sewing worth knowing: hand sewing was replaced with "Smythe-sewn binding" with essentially the same results, using a machine developed some years after the Book of Mormon, by David M. Smythe (1833-1907), an Irish-born U.S. inventor. It utilizes both sewing and adhesive for extra strength. Getting a replica Book of Mormon bound either way - by hand or Smyth-sewing - gives it the stitching a replica deserves to have.

Notice the sewing similarities of this replica to the 1830 first edition:
• Signatures are threaded properly with correct number of holes
• Rare, single thread sewing technique is employed (not the typical, Smythe-sewn double-threading, which creates too much bulk on the spine)
• Sewing materials – down to the smallest details of black and white color of single threads, accurately configured to comprise cords, even at the correct weight and number 
• Spine rounded to the proper degree (replicas typically have spines too flat or too rounded, due to improper sewing or, more common, inaccurate binding technique not even using sewing)

--Authentic construction features:
• page dimensions
• cover dimensions
• leather thickness
• total cover thickness (including leather and “boards” underneath the leather)
* end sheet configuration at front - 3 are used
* end sheet configuration at back - 3 are used 
* no head and tail bands (replica editions often errantly include these bands)
* proper placement on page for Testimony of the Three Witnesses
* proper placement on page for Testimony of the Eight Witnesses 

--Authentic spine design:
* typeface of "Book of Mormon" on the spine (our typeface historian/artist studied several first edition originals and traced the clearest one to make it correct)
* font size of the book title
• spine label size and height
• gold bands at top and bottom of the spine label actually cross over the black label, leaving black above and below the bands
• the other gold bands are correctly positioned on the spine, including distance between bands
• gold bands have correct width (rarely seen in replicas)
• gold bands have gold content like the original – 23K
• gold bands are the correct “color” and shade of gold
* the most standard number of gold bands across spine: 7
* gold bands have correct thickness
* gold bands have correct color and shade
* gold bands are correct distance from each other, and where they are placed on the spine
* gold bands are applied straight

--Authentic artwork of title, “Book of Mormon,” on the spine:
•           font size
•           typeface (recreated by type designer/historian to exactness)
•           flaws and imperfections of original
•           spacing between letters
•           kerning (positioning of letters within words) 
•           leading (distance vertically between lines of words, measured from the bottom of                   each line of letters)

--Accurate paper:
·         thickness (within range of various thin-to-thick volumes produced in the original 1830       edition). This new edition is 13.6% thicker than the paper used in the average first      edition, but is within acceptable limits to be considered accurate. 
·         color
·         texture
·         brightness
·         opacity
·         page count: 590 pages of printed matter and 2 pages blank text in the back (separate            from the 6 pages – 3 “end sheets” - of blank pages in the back)
·         acidity. The 7% pH of the paper used in this replica comes as close as possible to that used in the original 1830 edition, making the paper genuinely acid-free, which lasts for generations - unlike books that came out shortly afterwards, which were infused with wood pulp, making it brittle in later years. (Note that in 1830, fortuitously the year the Book of Mormon was first printed, paper had the lowest acidity – of 5.6 pH - of a 150 year period, from 1800 to 1950. After 1830, and especially after 1840, paper acidity increased dramatically. The year 1830 also introduced “Rosin-sizing,” making paper better for not turning brittle, compared to before and later. Further note that a relatively few copies of the 1830 edition were apparently made with wood pulp paper, as there was a mistaken paper shipment, but those copies have mostly disintegrated by this century. The “Triple-e edition” copies were among those with paper that will likely last for centuries, since it was the first of the print run and had better paper. This reproduction accurately replicates that.)

--Accurately reproduced signatures (paper sections) with:
·  16 pages each, rather than modern-style, 32 page signatures prevalent in both modern books and replica editions
·  correct number of signatures – 37- creating almost double the number of sections seen in most modern books (including replicas, unfortunately). Books with 16 page sigs are considerably more expensive to produce than 32 page sigs.
·  The first page of actual text, and thus all following pages in the book, are properly positioned in every signature configuration
·  correct number of blank “text pages” are used in the last signature

--Authentic content:
• original text, digitally reproduced from the 1830 edition
• original typesetting
• page arrangement
• page count
* Rare, “Triple-e edition.” An unusual typo was made in the first few copies of the 1830 First Edition. It is contained here as well. When the 5,000 copies were printed, a mistake was made on the first 150 or so, which has made those copies become known as the “Triple-e edition.” This replica is of that edition! You can find the typo on the next to the last page, at “The Testimony of Three Witnesses,” line 10. There, the word “seen” is misspelled with 3 e’s. As soon as the printers caught the mistake, they corrected it. This makes our replica, we feel, especially interesting.

Note the following 5 features missing from mass-produced replicas. A replica would have to be hand-made for well over a thousand dollars to obtain all these 5 features:

1. Black leather label glued to the spine (The new version uses black foil stamped to the spine to simulate leather - it actually works very convincingly.)

2. Thin end sheet paper. (The new version uses thick end sheets to give the binding strength, otherwise the cover could come loose much easier. The printer that was utilized for this version demanded the use of thick end sheet paper; otherwise, the covers could not be applied with enough strength to the "book block" - the book itself, before the cover is applied.)

3. Exact text paper. (The paper for the near-exact composition would have to be custom-made, and almost impossible to produce. The paper content of the first edition was 100% rag - not available in rolls today for printing. The paper used for this new edition has other paper characteristics that are practically the same - opacity, color, etc., high quality, acid free, no wood pulp contained in it, etc., per above.)

4. Closed joint binding. (The first two editions by Stratford Books had this feature but their supplier no longer can work with this, as other problems are created. Although a mass-produced edition can have this, a bigger sacrifice in my opinion is made regarding the spine: it sacrifices the full, accurate artwork on the spine, due to certain binding limitations.)

5. The same style of calfskin. (Not only is it very expensive but can only be applied to books by hand.)

All in all, the new mass-produced edition from Stratford Books is as close as one could get without custom-making a replica costing well over a thousand dollars plus the additional cost of custom-made paper. These features place this replica in a remarkable position - of being the most affordable by far of a highly authentic reproduction of the 1840 first edition Book of Mormon. 

8 July 2015, rev: 5 August 2015, rev: 22 April 2017