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LDS book fetches $391,000 at sale

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30 2001 12:00 a.m. MST

An original "Book of Commandments," a precursor to The Doctrine and Covenants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sold for $391,000 at auction Monday.

The book, which was expected to bring $400,000, met its reserve price and met price expectations, says Chris Coover, a senior specialist at the auction house Christie's.

"The price is a record for a 19th-century book," Coover said. "It beats Poe, Melville, Longfellow. There were a lot of interested parties at the auction, but I wouldn't say there was a lot of bidding. But that's typical."

Christie's policy does not allow the name of the buyer to be released. Coover would only say the book was purchased by a "private, American individual." And he doesn't expect another copy to surface at auction soon.

"This book is a great rarity," Coover said. "The last Book of Commandments offered at auction was in 1967."

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