Artist Creates illuminated copy of The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien

Edel-Silmarillion © Benjamin Harff
Edel-Silmarillion © Benjamin Harff

Pieter Collier of The Tolkien Library interviewed artist Benjamin Harff back in 2009 after discovering his Edel-Silmarillion, a 400 page hand-illuminated copy of J.R.R Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. Harff created the deluxe Silmarillion for his exam at the Academy of Arts.

All of the initials, calligraphic pages and illumination were drawn by hand using a steel pen and indian ink as well as brushes and watercolour. Harff also created the goat leather binding himself, with some help from a professional bookbinder. He would have liked to emboss the cover but ran out of time, and hopes to create another more intricate version one day.

The title page (pictured left) took between seventy and eighty hours, with the entire project taking six months.

If you have picked yourself up from your swoon, Tolkien fans, you can harass Harper Collins to commission Harff’s stunning manuscript. Because we all want to read our Silmarillion in style. Beg them on Twitter.


Do read the full-length interview here. With thanks to The Tolkien Library and Der Herr der Ringe for the images.