View full screen - View 1 of Lot 25. FLEMING | From Russia, with Love, 1957, presentation copy inscribed to the dust-jacket artist.

FLEMING | From Russia, with Love, 1957, presentation copy inscribed to the dust-jacket artist

FLEMING | From Russia, with Love, 1957, presentation copy inscribed to the dust-jacket artist

FLEMING | From Russia, with Love, 1957, presentation copy inscribed to the dust-jacket artist



8vo, FIRST EDITION, FIRST IMPRESSION, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR to the dust-jacket artist ("To | Dickie Chopping | 'The Executioner’" | from | Ian") on front free endpaper, original black cloth, lettered in silver and bronze, design to upper board in silver and red, DUST-JACKET, upper flap of dust-jacket signed by Richard Chopping, together with a dust-jacket for the sixth impression of the book sometime added by a collector, collector's red chemises with red half-morocco box

[together with:] Ian Fleming, three typed letters signed, to Richard Choppong, DISCUSSING THE JACKET DESIGN FOR FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE, one letter with autograph insertion, ONE LETTER WITH CHOPPING'S ROUGH PRELIMINARY PENCIL SKETCH OF THE ROSE AND GUN DESIGN ON THE VERSO (noting measurements as 5” x 7 5/8”), 5 pages, 4to and 8vo, headed stationery of Kemsley House, 30 August to 7 September 1956

 "...My idea is that we should forget about a complicated background and letters and simply depict the gun crossed with the dewy rosebud on a neutral background - say of velvet - which would then 'bleed' into the lettering at the top and bottom of the page..."


Fleming's inscription refers to the printed note on the dust-jacket ("Jacket devised by the author and executed by Richard Chopping”).

In 1956 Fleming’s wife Ann introduced him to Chopping (1917-2008), then a young artist specializing in trompe l'oeil paintings. (According to Lycett, Fleming described Chopping as "... 'the only English master' in the art of trompe l'oeil...") From Russia, With Love was the first Fleming book that he designed and he went on to work on almost all of the subsequent James Bond dust-jackets (as well as the covers of Amis and Gardner's continuations). Chopping's designs have become an iconic component of the Bond cultural phenomenon.

With three typed letters signed by Fleming to Chopping, illustrating the development of the design and Fleming’s keen interest in the imagery and layout:

i) 30 August 1956: Fleming writes he would like too ahead with the project if it is not too expensive, and he would like to meet, suggesting times. He outlines his vision of the jacket design as quoted above, adding that its simplicity would "greatly simplify your task and, at the same time, it would prevent the lettering from interfering with the central vignette in your unique manner”.

ii) 4 September 1956: Fleming responds to a reply by Chopping, writing that he looks forward to seeing him and “by that time, I shall have the gun -- a really beautiful object”. Fleming borrowed the gun, a Smith & Wesson revolver with the trigger guard removed for faster firing, from the firearms expert Geoffrey Boothroyd. The letter has a rough pencil sketch of the jacket design on the verso by Chopping

iii) 7 September: Fleming confirms that Chopping’s fee will be fifty guineas. He continues to discuss the design - “I very much like your idea of making the background of scrubbed silvery grey wood with a few knots in it. We did not discuss the rose but I feel the flower should not be too open -- a rather lush bud might be the answer. The colour I leave to you. They will all be good against the grey background and perhaps, as you suggest, a creamy white might be the best, so that the whole motif of the jacket will be black and grey and white”. Fleming continues “Handsome credit will be given to you on the inside of the jacket and I really do think the whole thing will at least be a wonderful advertisement for your work to some 20,000 people, most of whom have never seen it”. He finishes “Of one thing I am certain. Your picture will vastly help to sell the book!”


Gilbert A5a (1.1)


From the library of Richard Chopping; Christie's, New York, The Library of Roger Rechler, 11 October 2002, lot 97

dust-jacket spine lightly sunned and slightly scuffed, minor chips at extremities

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