ROWLING Harry Potter artwork
Lot 185AR
ROWLING (J.K.) and HARRY POTTER TAYLOR (THOMAS) Artists's replica of his front cover design for 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone', 2001
£10,000 - 15,000
US$ 16,000 - 24,000

Lot Details
ROWLING (J.K.) and HARRY POTTER
TAYLOR (THOMAS) Artists's replica of his front cover design for 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone', pencil and watercolour, signed and dated 2001 by the artist lower right, and inscribed "Replica of the front cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" lower left, further inscribed on verso "... Painted by Thomas Taylor 2001/ replica of the cover art of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" sheet size 473 x 342mm., 2001

Footnotes

  • HARRY POTTER, HOGWARTS EXPRESS AND PLATFORM 9 ¾: the artist's only replica of perhaps the most recognisable children's image of the modern era. "As the illustrator of the original cover art, I consider this the only replica I shall ever paint" (letter from the artist, a copy of which is included in the lot).

    In 2001 Thomas Taylor was commissioned to paint a replica of his original watercolour by the current vendor, who had unsucessfully tried to buy the original painting at Sothebys earlier that year. In his first letter to the vendor, Taylor explains his motivation for agreeing to reproduce the image: "I have felt rather burdened by my connection to the Harry Potter books, and the auction represented to me a way to break free. That picture has been as much a hindrance in my career as a help, and the occasional feverish attention from the press nothing but an irritation. My immediate reaction to your proposition was to say no. However, after a few days reflection I think that would have been churlish, and I would like to accept the commission.... this will be the only copy I will make, and this will be made clear in writing..."

    On completion of the painting, Taylor sent an email "to say that the Harry Potter replica is now finished. I strange [sic] sensation to paint that particular picture again. While I could have painted an exact copy, it really is uncannily like the original. I hope you like it". As with the original watercolour, it contains far more detail than was actually reproduced on the cover of the book: for example Platform 10 is visible in this image, but was cropped from the printed book cover.
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