J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings. 1990.

This special binding of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings by artist Philip Smith takes the series’ villain Lord Sauron as its subject.  In this cult classic, Tolkien models Lord Sauron on the figure of the Christian Devil, and the Eye of Sauron is the evil figure’s ultimate symbol of fear and power.  Using his unique “Maril” technique of building layers through marbled leather scraps, Smith created a beastly book binding that is both sculptural and painterly.  First invented for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Smith’s “Maril” bindings have become a signature of his celebrated book binding practice.

Link: Philip Smith’s website.