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Topic: Richard Chopping Cover Designs-the Best of the Best?

Which of the classic Chopping cover designs do you think are among the best? Let's start a discussion (unless this thread exists already and I missed it, in which case, mods feel free to step in.)  Chopping's trademark wood-grain cover designs for the Bond novels undoubtedly contributed to their lustre and prestige, both on original sale and for collectors. My question is: which are considered to be the most iconic/favourite pieces of Chopping cover art?

Personally, I'd nominate:

From Russia With Love, relatively simple but classic:





https://i.postimg.cc/9zTp2mdJ/frwl.jpg

Thunderball, for the striking imagery of the lone skeleton hand, later repurposed for the cover of Icebreaker



https://i.postimg.cc/H8p435rn/Ian-Fleming-Thunderball.jpg


and You Only Live Twice, just for how weird the composition is with the clashing toad and flower



https://i.postimg.cc/HVv44rdW/You-Only-Live-Twice-Ian-Fleming.jpg


What do others think? What are some more suggestions for best/favourite/most iconic Chopping cover?

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Re: Richard Chopping Cover Designs-the Best of the Best?

Favourite:

https://i.postimg.cc/c6DrHFR8/Goldfinger-Ian-Fleming.jpg

Least favourite (but hey, they're all good):

https://i.postimg.cc/nCjcLpV6/220px-For-Your-Eyes-Only-Ian-Fleming.jpg

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Re: Richard Chopping Cover Designs-the Best of the Best?

I just love the Chopping covers! Since the concepts were dictated by Fleming, I think they are just about as important as the text!

While FRWL is the best known, I really like Goldfinger. I seem to recall that was Chopping’s favorite.

While on the subject, does anyone know where the original paintings ended up?

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Re: Richard Chopping Cover Designs-the Best of the Best?

7289 wrote:

I just love the Chopping covers! Since the concepts were dictated by Fleming, I think they are just about as important as the text!

Yes, the backstories of these covers are so interesting, particularly the amount of care Fleming went to lengths to get the details just right.

BTW, regarding Chopping’s dust jacket art for OHMSS...forgive me because my copy of OHMSS is literally blocked by much debris in my reading room, but can someone please confirm if Bond’s coat of arms is described in detail within the novel? Thanks in advance!

https://www.google.com/search?q=on+her+majesty%27s+secret+service+chopping&client=safari&hl=en&prmd=ivsn&sxsrf=ALeKk0031bHWcYU0HoQ0aIKVYrXpBl5oDA:1600043140084&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiQrfWXsefrAhVfKDQIHV9JA2sQ_AUoAXoECA8QAQ&biw=375&bih=548#imgrc=v1mM1cWnfcmK4M

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: Richard Chopping Cover Designs-the Best of the Best?

From Chapter 6:

"The coat of arms.... Argent on a chevron sable, three bezants". He held up the book so that Bond could see. "A bezant is a golden ball, as I'm sure you will know. Three balls."
Bond commented drily, "That certainly is a valuable bonus".


While this is clearly the basis for Bond as Sir Hilary claiming to have four balls in the film,  it's all Fleming has to say on the subject of Bond's coat of arms.

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Re: Richard Chopping Cover Designs-the Best of the Best?

Barbel wrote:

From Chapter 6:

"The coat of arms.... Argent on a chevron sable, three bezants". He held up the book so that Bond could see. "A bezant is a golden ball, as I'm sure you will know. Three balls."
Bond commented drily, "That certainly is a valuable bonus".

While this is clearly the basis for Bond as Sir Hilary claiming to have four balls in the film,  it's all Fleming has to say on the subject of Bond's coat of arms.

Thank you very much, Barbel! Compared to the cover art, the book’s description is pretty scant. It seems Chopping look much license, but maybe with also much input from Fleming.

Last edited by superado (14th Sep 2020 07:35)

"...the purposeful slant of his striding figure looked dangerous, as if he was making quickly for something bad that was happening further down the street." -SMERSH on 007 dossier photo, Ch. 6 FRWL.....

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Re: Richard Chopping Cover Designs-the Best of the Best?

I'd probably go for Thunderball as my #1, with From Russia With Love and Goldfinger in the #2 and #3 spots respectively. The order might change from time to time, but I think those ones are pretty well established as my top three.

Unfortunately I don't own any of my top 3 but I have a few of the later Chopping covers and OHMSS is another that I really like.