After the rather rude and un-Hobbit-like way that his rowdy guests (or intruders) presented themselves at Bag End, it's little wonder that Bilbo Baggins took some time to read through the Contract presented to him by Thorin Oakenshield and the band of Dwarves in his company.
A hefty document by any standards, these Conditions of Engagement govern a job that Thorin Oakenshield desperately needs done. An adventurous undertaking judging by the Contract, and adventure is something most hobbits resist.
If Bilbo Baggins returns from this quest alive, he will not be the same Hobbit who ran from his front door, having forgotten his pocket handkerchief.
Weta's The Contract of Bilbo Baggins is quite a remarkable artefact created by the artists of the 3 Foot 7 Art Department in Wellington, New Zealand.
Hand made by calligrapher and artist Daniel Reeve, who made the iconic original contract used in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, this is an absolutely authentic prop replica.
Daniel scans his original script which is then digitally printed onto five separate pieces of high-quality watercolour paper for each contract and then die cut to shape. This is the same paper used in the films.
Daniel explains the choice of paper: "The paper for the Contract is Arches watercolour 185gsm Cold-Pressed. A beautiful paper for calligraphy, with enough tooth to generate skips, texture and character in any pen work. It takes ink and paint beautifully, and can withstand repeated wettings."
Daniel then commences the process of painting the edges of the various sheets and stitching them together by hand, and then fastens the thread with wax seals.
He painstakingly applies every crease and every wrinkle by hand, ageing the paper to achieve an authentic looking prop replica.
Each exquisite 4’7” x 2’2” (141cm x 66cm) piece of art is the work of one man and totally unique.
His craft is indeed a rare one and this is a prop replica the likes of which few have seen.
Available in strictly limited supply and always subject to the artist's availability, the Contract of Bilbo Baggins will be shipped direct from Weta in New Zealand, tied with a ribbon, rolled up in a plain cardboard box. Included are also instructions for how to roll up the contract after use.
Its dimensions rolled up are 9in x 4.5in x 2.2in (23cm x 11cm x 5.5cm)
The contract comes with a printed Certificate of Authenticity signed by hand by Daniel Reeve. Not that we think it's likely anyone would attempt forgery...
The Contract of Bilbo Baggins is part of a range of high end authentic prop replicas from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. All created by the artists who work on the movies.