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"...Here is a book that will break your heart." C.S. Lewis, on The Lord of the Rings.

Benjamin Harff, a German art student, has made this doubly true. He decided for his capstone project to do a hand-illuminated, hand-bound copy of Tolkien's The Silmarillion. He spent six months on it and had the volume bound in leather by a professional hand book-binder (he assisted).

It is the most beautiful thing I've seen, such a remarkable labor of love and art.

Here are pictures, and an interview + more pictures.

In these days of 140-character tweets and instant this-n-that, my heart is reassured when I see evidence of appreciation for Things That Take Time.

Also of course we wants it precious, we wants it!!!

Comments

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veritas03
Oct. 3rd, 2012 12:46 am (UTC)
That's absolutely beautiful. I'm working, so I don't have time to read the article yet. Took the time to look at the pics because I couldn't resist. Reminds me of the Book of Kells. Love it!
delphipsmith
Oct. 5th, 2012 01:33 am (UTC)
Yes! Particularly the huge initial on the first page.
rivertempest
Oct. 3rd, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
Wow!

Just, I'm in awe. Such an ambitious project for his Art final.

The Book of Kells influence is wonderful!

delphipsmith
Oct. 5th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC)
"Awe" is my feeling exactly. The time, the skill, the effort, the sheer dedication is mind-bending.
perverse_idyll
Oct. 3rd, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you for linking that. What an unbelievable amount of patience that must have taken. And yes, gorgeous. A perfect melding of style and subject.
delphipsmith
Oct. 5th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
I thought so too -- if any modern piece of literature is suitable for this sort of project, it's Tolkien :)
duniazade
Oct. 3rd, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
Thank you for the links - wonderful work.
delphipsmith
Oct. 5th, 2012 01:35 am (UTC)
Such fun to share such pretties :)
ennyousai
Oct. 3rd, 2012 03:31 am (UTC)
Oh, wow! That's FABULOUS!
delphipsmith
Oct. 5th, 2012 01:36 am (UTC)
Isn't it, though? Doesn't it make you want a copy for the archives??
inamac
Oct. 3rd, 2012 05:31 am (UTC)
That's lovely work.

I remember seeing an exhibition of bound copies of Tolkien's books at the British Library which were beautifully made (illustrated coloured leather mainly). His work does inspire.

ETA - Link to the Philip Smith Bindings.

Edited at 2012-10-03 05:35 am (UTC)
delphipsmith
Oct. 5th, 2012 01:37 am (UTC)
Oh, that's lovely! I had never heard of Peter Smith, thanks so much for the link.
dreamy_dragon73
Oct. 3rd, 2012 11:24 am (UTC)
That's gorgeous!
It looks like an illuminated manuscript.
noeon
Oct. 3rd, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
This is sooo amazing. I'm still howling over 21st century elvish-monk style :)
delphipsmith
Oct. 5th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)
I know, isn't that brilliant LOL?! Can't you just see Glorfindel or Elrond on his day off, skritching away with a quill pen, tongue poking out the corner of his mouth in concentration? Delightful :)
duco_lacuna
Oct. 4th, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
That's just ... incredible! How did he manage to create such a beautiful piece of work in such a relatively short amount of time?!? I just adore every single bit about it (a bit of an old-book freak here).

This is just an inspiring reminder that amazing things can be done when you set your heart on it. Thanks for sharing this. Now I'm off to squee about it to everyone else in the house. :)
delphipsmith
Oct. 5th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
He says in the article that he printed the text on a laser printer so he "only" had to the letters by hand. "Only"!? ::dies::

Doesn't it make you want to closet yourself for a few hours with a box of fine-point magic markets and a stack of parchment?
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