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.*