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August 27, 2011 12:19 PM   Subscribe

TolkienLibrary.com interviews Benjamin Harff about his hand-illuminated edition of The Silmarillion. Complete with click-to-see-larger pictures of his work.
posted by hippybear (22 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
AWESOME!!!
posted by zombieApoc at 12:22 PM on August 27, 2011


Not to take away from the artistic awesomeness -- because it is pretty cool -- but seeing as how it's an illuminated Tolkien, I was a teensy bit disappointed he didn't use, say, iron-gall ink on vellum.
posted by lesli212 at 12:48 PM on August 27, 2011


So beautiful. I'm glad that the art of illumination is still being practiced.

Peter Jackson should hire this guy to work on a similar project for the upcoming The Hobbit movie. Better yet, dude should set up a Kickstarter and get working on it. I would support you with the monies, awesome German illuminator guy.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:48 PM on August 27, 2011


I was a little confused that he said he printed it on a dot matrix printer at home. Surely not the best way to make a priceless book. Let's hope that the Tolkien estate takes note of him and produces his illuminations.
posted by brenton at 12:58 PM on August 27, 2011


OOOOOoooooo
posted by The Whelk at 12:59 PM on August 27, 2011


Do want.
posted by rodgerd at 1:47 PM on August 27, 2011


The Whelk has it. OOOOOoooooo.

This is awesome. I have always had a hard time at the Getty, because once I've looked at the illuminated manuscripts, and visited my bed, I can't absorb any more beauty. Luckily the 405 is right outside, and that helps.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 1:56 PM on August 27, 2011


Oh me oh my that is gorgeous
posted by Jibuzaemon at 2:30 PM on August 27, 2011


I'm grateful this interview I did in 2009 somehow received the attention... I was very impressed by the work and dedication of the artist and just had to interview him and show his art to the world. I did contact the major Tolkien publishers but so far did not get a positive reply to get this published or released to a larger public. Maybe this small help from the internet can change things?
posted by TolkienLibrary at 2:35 PM on August 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, wow! Welcome to MetaFilter, TolkienLibrary. We discuss Tolkien not infrequently here. Maybe you'll have things to add to other threads as time goes on.

I can only hope that a bit more attention being drawn to Harff's work would help to promote its possible publication. It's beautiful and should be seen by more people than just those who can see the one copy.

Any idea what he's doing these days? If that interview was in 2009, there's a couple of years in there in which he might have produced more beautiful and interesting work.
posted by hippybear at 2:42 PM on August 27, 2011


Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, Tolkien Library -- you mean there is some possibility of a chance I could have this thing, in my house, in exchange for money? Could that happen?
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 2:44 PM on August 27, 2011


To be honest I have not heard Harff since back then, but I did discuss possible publication some times since. In the mean time I have been too busy on another amazing Tolkien project and that did result in a book, that will be released by HarperCollins now in September. I'd be happy to talk all about it then!
posted by TolkienLibrary at 2:48 PM on August 27, 2011


That project and book would be an excellent candidate for MetaFilter Projects. We don't do much self-promotion here at MetaFilter, but if you were to post that to Projects, I'm sure it would be well received.
posted by hippybear at 2:55 PM on August 27, 2011


I just discovered metafilter and now trying to see what it is all about, but so happy Harff's amazing project received some attention. As for the book, it is all about promoting someone else... it will be a book that brings together all the art of one man who illustrated The Lord of the Rings 50 years ago. The only artist to go and visit Tolkien himself and who's art Tolkien loved so much he did actually by some of his paintings. His art and himself never were much known, but I started on a journey to search the artist, find all his art (most was sold and sort of lost) and over the years I managed to rebuild the whole set of over 100 illustrations and so happy that the Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins aided me to publish them. It was a lot of fun and I hope it will, after 50 years, show the amazing talent and art of Cor Blok!
posted by TolkienLibrary at 3:02 PM on August 27, 2011


We wants it...


...my preciooouuus...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 3:38 PM on August 27, 2011


Benjamin Harff's got stuff on MySpace, but I don't think it's been updated lately. Couldn't find anything else.

Also, welcome TolkienLibrary!
posted by Glinn at 3:46 PM on August 27, 2011


Think that is the page that made me contact him! Thanks for the link @Glinn
posted by TolkienLibrary at 3:59 PM on August 27, 2011


Holy shit. I apologize in advance if I accidently run you over seven times and take that book.
posted by Justinian at 7:45 PM on August 27, 2011


If anything could get me to read The Silmarillion (I have tried before and failed), a copy that looked like this would be it.
posted by naoko at 11:01 PM on August 27, 2011


I think they have a copy of this at the Minas Tirith Public Library.
posted by homunculus at 1:06 AM on August 28, 2011


I believe the following copy came from the same library: The Tales From Middle-earth handwritten book
Guess I would best do an interview with this guy as well? Interesting? If so... I'll go for it!
posted by TolkienLibrary at 5:27 AM on August 28, 2011


Fantastic. Thanks so much for posting this.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:35 PM on August 28, 2011


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