How beautiful can a J.R.R. Tolkien book be? There are some fantastic illustrated versions of “The Hobbit,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and “The Silmarillion,” and each is beautiful and can be an impressive part of any library. There have been some deluxe versions of LOTR printed over the years which are expensive and impressive. But Benjamin Harff has done something on a whole new level. Following the tradition of ancient forms of book making, often by monks or priests working before the printing press, Harff has used the old style to make a simply amazing version of Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion.”
He produced the book as part of his schooling and says, “…but the main problem was my strict limitation in time and money. Looking back I cannot understand how it worked! For my exam it would have been enough to do calligraphy for only one or two chapters. But I didn´t want to have a book with maybe twenty printed and 380 empty pages! That would not have been worthy for a Tolkien-work and I had better done a short story or so. But I thought: „This is your exam and maybe the last time that you can do what you want as an illustrator!“ So I did it, and couldn´t have done it with that fire, wouldn´t it have been a Tolkien-work. And although this was extremely hard, the fire did not cease.”
The Tolkien Library has an interview with excellent images. You can read the whole story right here.