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:





frwl.jpg

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



Ian-Fleming-Thunderball.jpg


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



You-Only-Live-Twice-Ian-Fleming.jpg


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

Comments

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,801Chief of Staff
    Favourite:

    Goldfinger-Ian-Fleming.jpg

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

    220px-For-Your-Eyes-Only-Ian-Fleming.jpg
  • 72897289 Beau DesertPosts: 1,673MI6 Agent
    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?
  • superadosuperado Regent's Park West (CaliforniaPosts: 2,554MI6 Agent
    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!

    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.....
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 30,801Chief of Staff
    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.
  • superadosuperado Regent's Park West (CaliforniaPosts: 2,554MI6 Agent
    edited September 2020
    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.
    "...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.....
  • Golrush007Golrush007 South AfricaPosts: 2,909Quartermasters
    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.
Sign In or Register to comment.