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Re: Gorgeous Custom Silmarillion

Subject: Re: Gorgeous Custom Silmarillion
by Elwë on 2009/5/19 14:29:17

Thanks for the compliment, Jeremy. That is my book and my listing. It is the final product of a project I did last year. It was a sort of collaboration with David Miller. He had experience with custom binding in the past and thus had a lot of good contacts (die maker, binder, marbled paper artist, etc.). I must admit that he did the vast majority of the legwork, whereas I contributed only to the design, colors schemes, etc. A total of four books were bound in such a fashion. I own two and he owns the other two. The only difference was that I elected to have the full leather clamshell made for both of my copies. I believe that he was planning to make marbled paper slipcases for his.

With regard to cost, it is negotiable if someone is truly interested. However, the project expenses were steep. A binding of this quality, with all of the custom die work and full leather (especially since I had the book and the case done in full leather), is very very expensive. Add-in the cost of the original book, shipping costs, and everything else that went into it, and I am not really making money on the deal.

My goal, however, was not to make a bunch of money, but to create the nicest copy of the Silmarillion I could. I had always felt that there wasn't a proper treatment of the Silmarillion available, with the exceptions of the 1982 Super Deluxe and the 1998 Signed Illustrated Deluxe. The 1982 SD is rarely available and goes for astronomical prices. The 1998 Signed Deluxe is one of my favorite books in terms of colors, but the cloth boards are subject to fraying and, well, you all know the shortfalls of the Harper Collins deluxe books. So, that is when I sought out David to help direct the project.

I also have a copy done in dark blue (it is all dark blue, as opposed to having gold cloth in the clamshell case). The dark blue copy is a first state of the Clowes edition, with the minor textual points to show (since it no longer has the original headband and cloth boards!). The dark blue was chosen to match the original boards. I made sure that I used copies of the book that were in pristine condition in order to achieve the best final result. It was kind of a shame disassembling very nice original cloth books, but I figure that there were plenty of them out there, as opposed to early Hobbits or LotRs. I am sure that some purists would not agree that it is okay to disassemble such a book, but it was honestly out of a deep love for the Silmarillion that this project was ever attempted.

If anyone is interested in seeing photos of my dark blue copy, I would be happy to post them here. I love to show them off, and rarely get a chance to share them with people who truly appreciate them. That may be one reason I chose to put one up for sale - just so people could see it! I hate to see one go, but I am feeling the pinch of overzealous collecting lately and need to sink some money into my house right now, so.....

Also, David Miller's copies are listed on Beren's website here:


The terra-cotta color was a tribute to the 1998 Signed Deluxe edition.
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