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: