First edition of James Bond novel You Only Live Twice - with cover created by Wivenhoe artist - set to fetch up to £30,000 at auction
The late Wivenhoe artist, Richard Chopping, was paid £315 to design the eye-catching dust jacket of the James Bond novel, You Only Live Twice.
Now a rare signed first edition copy of the book – which cost sixteen shillings (80p) new in 1964 – is set to fetch thousands at an auction.
The book is particularly valuable because it is signed by James Bond creator, Ian Fleming, and was presented by Mr Fleming to his friend, Richard Hughes, a Sunday Times journalist, ex-boxer and former part-time spy for MI6, who was the inspiration for the character in You Only Live Twice named Richard Lovelace “Dikko” Henderson.
Fleming signed the book: “To Dikko-san from Fleming-san, with all affection.”
The book is expected to sell for between £20,000 and £30,000 at Sotheby’s in London on November 24.
Richard Chopping – who lived at The Quay, Wivenhoe, with his companion, artist Denis Wirth-Miller – designed the dust jackets for nine James Bond novels, starting in 1957 with From Russia With Love. But the work he did on the You Only Live Twice dust jacket was one of his toughest assignments as it involved finding a toad – which he used as a live model for the jacket – and he even visited Colchester Natural History Museum in the hope that they might have one.