Archive for the Dustwrapper of 'For Your Eyes Only'


CHOPPING, Richard Archive for the Dustwrapper of 'For Your Eyes Only'


A collection of correspondence and artwork, comprising eighteen letters between Fleming, Michael Howard (his contact at Cape) and Richard Chopping relating to the production of the dustwrapper design for 'For Your Eyes Only', and all Chopping's preliminary sketches and drawings for the jacket. All housed in a custom-made blue cloth folder in a blue cloth chemise with blue morocco-backed slipcase. The correspondence is initiated by a typed letter signed from Fleming to Chopping dated 14 October 1959, "We have a new jacket problem which I very much hope you will execute again...". Chopping replies by return to say he is "in a frenzy of work... Some how I have got involved in nineteen commissions", can he meet for lunch or a drink next Monday and that "I must warn you that prices have had to go up". Fleming's secretary (Mina Trueblood) replies to say Fleming has left the country and could probably meet for a drink on Monday. Fleming and Chopping having met, Chopping writes to Fleming on a page which he appears to have initially used as notes and questions on the jacket design. "Title - RED - "For Your eyes alone only"... Is Bond:- dark or fair... black eyebrows and black eyelashes and (cold) grey(-blue) eyes - possibly". The note shows Chopping's notion of the design brief given by Fleming taking shape, "I think I can do a cover in keeping with the other two... title and authors name in the same lettering or paper pinned to it and between them a hole.. through which an eye is looking." The next letter in the sequence, dated 26 October, is a signed carbon of a letter from Fleming to Howard, enclosing and approving of Chopping's proof design, "I think it is absolutely splendid... I really do think Dickie is an ingenious chap...", refining the design "I'm prepared to sacrifice the grey-blue of James Bond's eyes for a brighter blue...", the positioning of the lettering "logically For Your Eyes Only should be stamped on a portion of the document.... I enclosed a draft of how this might look... The title should be red and perhaps... rather fuzzy as if it really were a rubber stamp." Two drafts of a page from a dossier typed by Fleming with FOR YOUR EYES ONLY written in pen, twice on one draft (one in a box) and once on the other. Howard then writes to Chopping (Nov 4th 1959), "Ian Fleming has gone off round the world to visit all the wicked cities and write a series of titillating articles for The Sunday Times... I think between you you have cooked up an idea of really masterly ingenuity which should make one of the most intriguing jackets you have done...". Howard goes on to mention proposed deadlines and sizing and enclosing Fleming's dossier draft of the previous letter. The design now complete, the letters turn to the thorny issue of Chopping's fee. Howard writes to Chopping on 6 January 1960, "Ian has just gone off to Jamaica for his annual hibernation... Ian has also asked me to send on his behalf a cheque for £75... this is double the highest fee I have ever heard of being paid for a jacket design in this country..." Chopping is not impressed, "You seem prepared for me to be dissatisfied with £75 and indeed I am... and as it is between Ian and me I would like to write direct to him." Howard writes supplying Fleming's Jamaican address, followed by a letter on 10 March asking if he and Fleming have sorted out his fee and mentioning difficulties with printing the jacket. Meanwhile Chopping sends an undated and unaddressed (though presumably to Goldeneye) note to Fleming. It is characterised by a large number of corrections and deletions indicating Chopping's unease. "I am afraid that a bad misunderstanding occurred over the question of the my fee... The figure you urged me to charge in the future was 200 gns. I was in fact doing this job with 150gns in mind. So you can imagine my surprise when Michael sent me 1/2 that amount." Eventually Fleming sends a typed letter signed to Chopping dated 22 March 1960, agreeing that Chopping's work should be more highly paid but by "squeezing the millionaires" (presumably Cape), explaining that Cape pay "their standard fee of 25 guineas and I pay the rest... How would 100 guineas suit?", but goes on to say "I shall not argue if you think a higher price would be right." With no response from Chopping on 8 April Howard writes a short letter to Chopping enquiring whether "everything has been squared up to your satisfaction." Chopping replies with an undated autograph letter (but 11 April, on the back of Fleming's letter of 22 March) saying, "I find the whole business of money so embarrassing... I really cannot argue about it and will settle for 100 guineas" Fleming replies by return (12 April), "in view of your fine jacket and my vast admiration for your work I propose that 125 guineas would be a fair compromise... But you must promise to do my next jacket also!" Chopping replies (written on the back of Fleming's letter) thanking Fleming for his "generous proposal" and confirming payment. The artwork comprises several draft pages typed with the 'dossier text' used on the jacket ("The case of Kurt Hammerstein or von Hammerstein..."), two marked up by Fleming illustrating possible positioning for the title and two with Chopping's annotations and lettering and several unused. One page of what appears to be an aborted typescript of the first page of Goldfinger with two pencil sketches of eyes on the reverse. Five pages of watercolour palette examples, one with rough pencil design for jacket layout, two with notes on the colours of the various elements, noting for instance that the flesh colour is made up of "Yellow Ochre, Light Red, White, Alizarin Crimson" and "To get high light on eye clearer draw head back - put eye lashes in late". Two pages of watercolour on paper design for the wooden background, one in light wood and one in the eventually used grey wood, with a rough sketch of the brass card holder beneath. Some nineteen pieces of tracing paper containing pencil sketches of various elements of the design in varying detail, including eyes, lettering and name-card holder, as well as alternative design for the layout. The final design for the jacket and spine, pencil on tracing paper held on a piece of artist's board, signed by Chopping under the drawing, with a protective sheet of paper over it with the holograph note, "Please return to:- Richard Chopping" and his address. A single page taken from a magazine showing a close up of an eye, presumably used for anatomical detail. Three 'specimen eyes' each with different colouring. Watercolour on artist's board with Chopping's notes on colour in pencil beside each. Signed in pencil at the base. The final preparatory watercolour of the eye looking through the spy-hole with the grey wood finish surround. Watercolour on artist's board (165mm x 216mm).

An extraordinary archive which charts the design and construction of one of the iconic dustwrappers in the James Bond sequence. Chopping was introduced to Ann Fleming by their mutual friend Francis Bacon in 1956. She invited him to a party at the Flemings' house where he was given the commission to design the jacket for From Russia With Love. He subsequently designed Goldfinger (though curiously not Dr No). For Your Eyes Only was only his third Bond jacket, though it is clear from their correspondence that Fleming is very much taken with his work and thereafter Chopping designed each of Fleming's Bond books.

Stock ID: 40889


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