Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Nine Gates project - Completed

My thanks goes to Paul Jones who talked me into making this replica and to Jeff Schmidt for his assistance on the graphics aspect. A special thanks goes to Mike Haspil for sharing his years of research into the Nine Gates with me, thus making this replica as accurate as possible.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weathering the Nine Gates

I got back from work late last night and only managed to weather 2/3rds of one book. Here are some pics of some of the weathered pages:

I haven't weathered the cover yet. Saving that for last.

De Umbrarum Regni Novem Portis

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present De Umbrarum Regni Novem Portis, or The Nine Gates to the Kingdom of Shadows:

With flash:

Without flash:

The front cover:

The 5 raised bands on the spine:

The pentacle:

The back cover:

The blank flyleaves and title page:

The first woodcut - Silentium est aureum "Silence is golden"

The Porta Secunda woodcut:

The damaged S as pointed out by Fargas to Corso:

The fake 9th woodcut:

These books are still in pristine condition. I will be starting the weathering process for each book soon.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My next project - The Nine Gates to the Kingdom of Shadows

After I posted my sale thread for the Grail Diary over at The RPF, I received PMs from some RPFers asking me if I would consider making a replica of the Nine Gates to the Kingdom of Shadows. Having seen Polanski's The Ninth Gate a few times, I was tempted.

For those not familiar with the movie, it tells of a rare book dealer named Dean Corso (played by Johnny Depp) who was hired by a collector named Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) to determine the authenticity of his copy of The Nine Gates to the Kingdom of Shadows. The Nine Gates is a very rare book written by Aristide Torchia in 1666 supposedly with the collaboration of Lucifer and could be used to summon the Devil himself. So rare is the book that only three known copies exist in the world. Other copies were destroyed when Torchia was burned at the stake for heresy.

I've managed to find all the text and woodcuts (engravings/illustrations) to make up the whole book. The weathering as seen onscreen is not as intense as the Grail Diary; probably pages soaked in tea would be sufficient. The hard part is the binding. Like the Grail Diary, the pages are bound in leather. But unlike the diary, the binding is hard and the spine has five ridges (much like those old law reports one would find at a library). The cherry on top is the gold pentagram embossed on the front cover and the intricate embossed frame on both the front and back cover. I'm not sure if my binders could achieve this but it'll at least be a fun project to try.

Here's a pic of a screen used copy belonging to another member of the RPF: