Tuesday, 22 September 2020

AMAZING Signed "Golden gun" up for auction

 You could understand both complete joy and happiness when finally a signed first edition of THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN from Jonathan Cape surface on the auction market. 

Not that I want one. I most certainly don't. But only for the chear joy that an auction house could make such a big mistake. 

Most James Bond fans knows a lot about Agent 007 but less amount of people know about Ian Fleming and his books. 

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN was Ian Fleming's last novel. Sadly he was not able to finish the novel. Some claim that Fleming wrote the first draft and that Kingsley Amis did the touch up of the novel before release. The reason Fleming did not do the touch up himself is sadly because he became ill and died before the novel was released. 

Maybe by know you understand what this blogpost is aiming for. It is impossible for Ian Fleming to have signed any copy of THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN because he had past away before the release. This books signature is fake and selling it should be counted as fraud. 

It is GWS Auctions Inc. in in USA who are the auction house. They estimate that the book will bring in $18-19 000. I myself is pretty sure it will be removed if people with knowledge claim that the signature is fake.   

The auction house also says that the James Bond movie with the same title was released in 1964. We all know it was released in 1974. The auction house don't even notice that in the same sentence they write that the book was released 1965. If so, the film could not be based on the novel. 

.... Well since english is my second language I just noticed that I have tripped and fell on my knowledge for the language. I did not notice the word "tipped-in". It means that a peace of paper has been glued to the book. And this is the same as for the Roger Moore autograph that the book contains. 

Two pieces of  paper has been inserted within the book with what is said to be authentic autographs of Ian Fleming and Roger Moore. I would still not bid and I would not call the book signed. 

Most Ian Fleming autographs seems to be fake. If this one is real or fake I leave to others to decide. I believe Fleming did most of his signings in books or on stationery. 

The hunt for someone claiming to have a signed copy of THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN goes on. 

If you wish to order the latest version of THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN you can do so here.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Ian Fleming: Bust sold for £1250

In October 2019 a bust of Ian Fleming was offered at auction by Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers. The bust sold for £1000 plus 25% commission coming to an end price of £1250. 

The bust was first used on the cover artwork for John Pearson's Fleming biography “The Life of Ian Fleming” (Jonathan Cape, 1966). It was then reproduced in small numbers for distribution to the larger book shops across Great Britain, to be used as window decoration when promoting both the biography and Fleming's own James Bond novels. The size of the bust is 52 cm. Not only was the bust seen on the first edition of the biography but also on the book club version (The companion book club 1966). 


Very few of these beautiful plaster busts have survived, and those that have usually need some sort of restoration of the gold paint and possible plaster repair too. 


When I first saw the bust on the cover of “The Life of Ian Fleming” I felt I would do anything to own it. As I have shown in another blog post (click the link) I am now indeed fortunate to own two of them.


It’s nice to discover they have increased in value over the years: they are so worth it. If you are able to buy one you definitely should. 


PLEASE NOTE: English is my second language so please excuse any small errors in translation.

When the auction house Christies was selling one back in 2007 they described the lot as written below.

FLEMING, Ian (1908-1964)--After Simone PANCHAUD DE BOTTOMES. 'Ian Fleming'. A cast metal bust finished in gold-painted plaster with initials 'SPB', executed c.1966 after Panchaud de Bottomes' original conceived in c.1931, 520mm high (some minor surface chipping and old repairs)Provenance: The Times Bookshop (purchased upon its closure). A RARE BUST OF FLEMING AFTER THE ORIGINAL BY THE MOTHER OF HIS FIANCéE MONIQUE PANCHAUD DE BOTTOMES, probably produced to publicise John Pearson's biography of Fleming. Fleming met Monique Panchaud de Bottomes at a ball in Geneva in autumn 1930, while he was a student at Geneva University. She was 'a slim, dark-haired local beauty' (A. Lycett Ian Fleming, London: 1995, p.45), from Vich in the Canton of Vaud, some 15 miles from Geneva, and 'she was impressed by [Fleming's] intelligence, charm and sensitivity ... He found her chic, cultured and amusing, the very essence of a modern French-speaking girl. Before long they were inseparable' (loc. cit.). By the summer of 1931 they considered themselves unofficially engaged, and Fleming would spend most weekends at the Panchaud de Bottomes' chateau, where the original of this bust by Monique's mother, Simone Panchaud de Bottomes, was sculpted in the early 1930s. However, Fleming's mother was strongly opposed to the engagement, and brought all possible pressure to bear on him -- emotional, professional, and financial -- and eventually the engagement was broken off by Fleming in 1933. Fleming felt bitter and guilty about the ending of the relationship: 'after this he would never dream of marrying anyone. "I'm going to be quite bloody-minded about women from now on ... I'm just going to take what I want without any scruples at all"' (J. Pearson The Life of Ian Fleming, London: 1966, p. 57), and was thought by his friends to continue to pine for Monique. Certainly, her name and background were used by Fleming some thirty years later in the 'James Bond' novel You Only Live Twice (London: 1964), in which Bond's mother is described as Monique Delacroix, from the Canton of Vaud. This bust is one of a small group that was probably produced to publicise Pearson's biography of Fleming, which uses a photograph of one on the dustwrapper; only a small number are thought to have been made, and few survive.


Friday, 8 May 2020


While the rest of the word are home locked I have had surgery. I live in Sweden and we do not home lock the country during Covid-19. After the surgery I am needed to stay at home for a few days. I have some books to get sorted and some tv-series I want to see.

I decided to see FLEMING - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE BOND for a second time. To be honest it felt as poor this time as it did the first time. It would be wrong to complain on Dominic Coppers appearance but he just don't look or feel the part. Maybe when he talks to his mother you can feel the deprest Fleming and the Fleming who always receives complaints by his mother. But this might just be because Lesley Manville does an better acting job.

Lara Pulver does a great job playing the cold Ann O´neill just like she did a great job playing Irene Adler in SHERLOCK.

When it comes to the story it feels like a lot of it is new to me and therefore either is fake or parts of Flemings life that I have never hear of. Rear Admiral Godfrey has a Second officer Monday played to be some sort of Miss Moneypenny and even have a hairstyle just like Louis Maxwell.

A nice touch is that it seems like they have used the correct exteriors for Flemings address on 22B Ebury street. This is just a few meters from were the Moonraker novel took place.

What is your take on FLEMING - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE BOND. Did you like it? Do you have the series in your collection? What changes or inserted scenes would you have wanted to see?

Did you know that John Pearson who wrote THE LIFE OF IAN FLEMING IN 1966 was a consultant on this tv-series.

More to read:

You can buy your copy of FLEMING - THE MAN WHO WOULD BE BOND
on DVD and Bluray by clicking here!

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Signed and lined copies of FOREVER AND A DAY for sale

Always when there is some sort of big James Bond release you always get caught up in the moment and buy way more James Bond related things then you can keep in your headquarters.

Back in May 2018 when Anthony Horowitz second James Bond novel FOREVER AND A DAY was released he did a special signing at Waterstones in London.

Ordinary James Bond fans only hope to get the book signed and to be honest there are many signed books on the market.

Hardcore book collectors hope to get the book lined as well. To have the book lined means that the author has handwritten a line from the book inside. I chose the line "He felt nothing" which is the final sentence of the book and I feel is there to resemble the last line from Casino Royale "The bitch is dead now". Both tells us that Bond is feeling strong disappointment.

Below you can see Anthony Horowitz confirming that he had the connection between FOREVER AND A DAY and Casino Royale in mind.

I have four extra copies of this book signed and lined that I have now put up for sale HERE on Ebay UK.

The reason that these special signings exist is to try and increase sales a lot during the first days so that the book enters the top on the sales chart.

I would have kept these books as long as possible but due to the economic changes in my life due to COVID-19 (Corona virus) I am in need of selling these now.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

New Folio release: THE SPY WHO LOVED ME

Ian Fleming's ninth James Bond novel THE SPY WHO LOVED ME is being released through The Folio Society today. It is there also there ninth James Bond release to date.

The novel was first released on April 16 1962 by Jonathan Cape. It is the shortest of Fleming novels and totally different to the rest of the cannon since it is written in first person by the main female character Vivienne Michel. Bond does only appear after two thirds of the book. To confuse the fans even more Fleming wrote a prologue saying that the story comes from the hands of Vivienne Michel.  It feels obvious that Fleming was tired of his normal way of writing and wanted to test something new.

THE SPY WHO LOVED ME received very poor reviews leading to Ian Fleming trying to prevent reprints of the hardback and banning publication of the paperback in United Kingdom. (That wish was then revoked as soon as Ian Fleming past away by his relatives.)

The reception to the novel was so bad that Fleming wrote to Michael Howard at Jonathan Cape, to explain why he wrote the book: "I had become increasingly surprised to find my thrillers, which were designed for an adult audience, being read in schools, and that young people were making a hero out of James Bond ... So it crossed my mind to write a cautionary tale about Bond, to put the record straight in the minds particularly of younger readers ... the experiment has obviously gone very much awry".

All of this lead to the fact that Ian Fleming only sold the title of THE SPY WHO LOVED ME to Eon Productions. He wanted the story dead and buried.

In 1967 Daily Express started to release the story as a comicstrip but with big changes to the storyline.

All of these facts actually make me looking forward to reading the book once again. I can't even remember what I thought of it the first time I read it.

The Folio Edition

Illustration ©2020 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of The Spy Who Loved Me
For this edition The Folio Society has reintroduced Ian Fleming’s original prologue, which had been removed from all modern editions of the text. In an unusual move by the author, this short introduction suggests that the manuscript had been left on his desk by Vivienne Michel, the book’s narrator.
Fay Dalton’s atmospheric artwork continues to bring exquisite glamour and tension to the page of every volume. This edition features a series of daring illustrations that range from Michel and Bond’s romantic encounters to the blazing fire at Mr. Sanguinetti’s motel.

Available exclusively from www.FolioSociety.com


UK £36.95 US $62.95 Can $72.95 Aus $82.95

Production Details:

Bound in blocked cloth. Set in Miller Text with Folio Bold Condensed as display. 240 pages. 7 colour illustrations. Pictorial slipcase. 9˝x 6¼˝

Illustration ©2020 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of The Spy Who Loved Me

Illustration ©2020 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of The Spy Who Loved Me


Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Mr Big is the eighth villain to be released by Folio Society

Sadly I might just be the last blog on earth to report that The Folio Society has released their eighth James Bond Novel and this time it was LIVE AND LET DIE that was chosen.

I was supposed to report this as soon as I was allowed but suddenly life caught up with me and I just haven't had the time to write anything.

But this release was a bit different compare to the previous ones. The book itself was actually available to be ordered on Folio's website before embargo to write something was released. I have friends who had the book before the embargo ended and about one week before I could get hold of the book. So others beat me to it this time.

I can only guess that some sort of error made the book open for sale before the embargo closed.

But I do like that The Folio Society completely fooled me regarding what title they would release. I have always thought that LIVE AND LET DIE were to be released last since Folio have released that book earlier in 2007. It is always interesting to see what book will be released next.

As always, this book also contains superb drawings by Fay dalton. Eight of them. One of them actually look alot like the cover for US paperback released by Perma Books in June 1956 (See below).

The book is available for purchase at The Folio Society for £36.95

Illustration ©2019 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die       

Illustration ©2019 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die

Illustration ©2019 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die
Illustration ©2019 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die

Illustration ©2019 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die

Illustration ©2019 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Live and Let Die
US paperback released by Perma Books in June 1956 

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

The new James Bond Folio Society release is...

It is that time of the year again one The Folio Society releases a new James Bond novel by Ian Fleming. It's a bit like christmas. Your parents are going to give you that present you wanted.

This time it is Thunderball that are being released. The one Fleming book with all the controversy about who actually wrote the story. Was it Fleming or was it Jack Whittingham or Kevin Mcclory. Or was it all of them together.

It was supposed to be the first film in the series but due to the ongoing lawsuit regarding the above the filming of Thunderball had to be delayed. In the end Fleming got the rights to the novel and Kevin Mcclory got the rights to film the story. I believe Jack Whittingham sold his parts of the rights.

Also in the settlement between the three parties it was agreed that in ALL forthcoming prints of Thunderball it had to say "The story is based on the screen treatment by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, and Ian Fleming."

This must have been sorted out in some way or some publishers just did not care because in Thunderball novels released as early as 1966 the acknowledgments disappeared from some publishers. Others keep it as it should be. It would be VERY interesting to know why the acknowledgments are not in all later printings. Might it have to do with the film version of Thunderball being released in 1965? I would have loved for The Folio Society to keep it in. It is a big part of the history of Thunderball as a novel.

If you were to look in the PAN paperbacks from 1964 it clearly says: "The story is based on the screen treatment by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, and Ian Fleming." To my knowledge. The latest release to carry this acknowledgment is the Blofeld trilogy from USA in 2010. 

Now let's forget about that!

The new Thunderball novel release is as beautiful as the rest of the books and the binding is the same. Fay Dalton has done seven drawings for the book containing Bond, Largo and Domino.

The book is on sale March 6, 2019. Price £36,95

Illustration ©2019 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Thunderball

Illustration ©2019 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Thunderball
The Folio Society edition of Ian Fleming’s Thunderball, illustrated by Fay Dalton, is available exclusively from www.FolioSociety.com

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The man with the golden brush!

As Ian Fleming's books were being released in Sweden for of them was released with a cover drawn by a famous Swedish artist called Hans Arnold.

Hans was not born in Sweden but in Switzerland and moved to Sweden in his early 20's. He is famous for his strange and sexy drawings with huge amount of details.

Albert Bonniers Publications released all the James Bond books by Ian Fleming and turned to Hans when they needed a suspenseful and classic new cover for the books THUNDERBALL, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN and OCTOPUSSY.

Hans Arnold died in 2010 and there is soon a documentary to be released about his famous drawings. I was able to catch an early screening of this film and during the end credits I could read and take notes of the names of his family.
Then I was able to contact them to ask if the original paintings were for sale or if the publishers owed them and had the rights.

I received a prompt answer saying that sadly a lot of Hans fine work has been sold during the years and the four paintings I was after was among these. I will continue to keep my eyes out and hope that some day they will be offered to me.

Below you will find his four James Bond covers.

Click here to see other iconic drawings by Hans Arnold.

THUNDERBALL - Notice how the black balloon actually is a bomb. 

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE - notice how the flowers actually sculls.
OCTOPUSSY - Notice that the golden fish also is a cello. This book is very hard to come by even in Sweden.

Hans Arnold at his study.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The new James Bond Folio Society novel is here!

Yes folks it is that time of the year again. Folio Society is releasing its sixth Ian Fleming novel (if we do not count "Live and let die" that was released as a one off back in 2007).

The book they are releasing now in no other then "Diamonds are forever" that was written in 1955 and first released in 1956 at Jonathan Cape.

Like the rest of the series the book comes in a very nice slipcase. The best part is still that Fay Dalton keeps delivering us fantastic drawings and really pushing the female sexiness to the edge like only she can. Tiffany Case has never been hotter either on film or in books.

This book contains seven drawings by Fay.

The novel costs £36,95 and can be ordered at Folio Society.

Writing to a friend, Fleming commented with typical humour that for "Diamonds are forever" he had included ‘every single method of escape and every variety of suspenseful action that I had omitted from my previous books – in fact everything except the kitchen sink, and if you can think up a good plot involving kitchen sinks, please send it along speedily’.

Earlier this year I did an interview with Fay Dalton about her involvement in the James Bond series and you can find it here

So what will the next James Bond novel be from Folio Society we might ask? My guess is as good as yours but I place my bet on "For Your eyes only". I also guess that "Live and let die" will be the last book to come out due to its 2007 release (see top).

Folio Society has informed me that they have had trouble with people stealing the paintings in their books and pirated them. Therefore I have decided to only use the same type of quality pictures as they have on their website. You can still click on each picture to see it bigger. 

Illustration ©2018 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of 
Ian Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever

Illustration ©2018 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of 
Ian Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever

Illustration ©2018 Fay Dalton from The Folio Society edition of 
Ian Fleming’s Diamonds Are Forever

Thursday, 27 September 2018

My interview with Michael Gillette, Part 3

The blog has had the opportunity to interview Michael Gillette. Michael is the artist behind the 2008 Ian Fleming James Bond book series covers. The books are really hard to find these days but the magnificent covers can be bought as art prints on Michaels website. 

Michael is selling the artworks and is currently offering all blog readers a 10% discount if using the discount code "007". This discount offer expires on Sunday the 7th of October 2018.  

Let the interview begin shall we!

1. Tell us about your career prior to your work on the Ian Fleming novels.

I’d been working for about 15 years at that point, time goes quickly! I started out doing work for the music industry in London. 
I did videos and sleeve work for Elastica and Saint Etienne, and made illustrations for music magazines. I painted a lot in acrylic. 
In 2001 I moved to San Francisco, and worked more digitally. I carried on working for all manner of clients, the Beastie Boys, Levi’s…
I have a retrospective book “Drawn in Stereo” the story unfolds there!

"Original painting for Diamonds are Forever: As I went through the set, I realized I had too many facing left, so flipped her. Then the painting was tinted digitally, and the type added". (C) Michael Gilette

2. How did you land the Ian Fleming job, How were you contacted?

I was contacted by a friend I’d known in London who was a book designer for Penguin. Jon Gray. He uses the name Gray318 for his work.
He said he had a project that was “Bond like” and would I like to do a test? I said yes, and pretty soon after, he told me it was actually for Bond!
Then I went on holiday for a couple of weeks and came home to find the test had been approved and I got the job.

3. Was there a long discussion on how they should look like before you actually made them. Did the Ian Fleming estate have many suggestions?

Not really, the idea of the titles on  the backs of Bond Girls was floated from the beginning. Jon asked if I could do the type.
I suggested that all the girls should be different colours.  The Fleming estate would occasionally make contact if one of the girls was not matching the description in the book. 
They were pretty easy to work with. I was told that the nudity should be tasteful, no nipples! I agreed with all the directions I was given.

Original thumbnail for Goldfinger, preparatory sketch, finished art. (C) Michael Gillette.

4. What materials have you used to create your drawings. 

I drew them in watercolour pencil, and watercolour paint. I then tinted them digitally in Photoshop. I had to make sure that I balanced the whole rainbow spectrum, so I needed the flexibility to change the colours as I went along.
I did them over the course of a couple of months, I was doing 2 or 3 a week, so they were coming thick and fast!

5. Is there any of the drawings you like the most?

I really like Moonraker, but  I’m happy with them as a set, I think they came out well and flowed pretty easily.

6. Is the Fleming covers your biggest success to date?

They certainly have held up. At the time I thought it was just another job, albeit a good one, which I was very happy to do. 
When they came out, in 2008, I started getting a lot of attention. Initially some negative, from diehard Bond fans who have very strong ideas how things 007 should be. 
Then I got a flood of positive feedback from the design world. Over time I got to understand the Bond world, and that I’d been incredibly lucky to have become involved with a very powerful franchise. 
James Bond is an amazing folk hero, an archetype of British goodness in the face of evil. I’m very blessed, in my own small way, to have been part of his world. 
Obviously this world is much bigger than anything else I’ve been involved with! I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to be associated with it. I’ve found the community really wonderful. 
When I started making the prints, my relationship with the Fleming estate grew. They have been very supportive and I value them greatly. I am 1000% grateful.

7. There seems to be two different covers for On her majesty’s secret service, why is that?

I felt that the first one lacked a little sexiness! As the woman who marries Bond, I thought she should be more special. Overtime I’ve come to appreciate the first version, and I like it more.I also redid Thunderball. The first version printed a sickly grey/ green. The second version was much better I think.
On her Majesty’s Secret Service Original cover. German cover version 1&2: "I repainted her because I thought the original was a bit reserved. I painted her with dark hair and eyes, but the estate pointed out that she had blonde hair and blue eyes in the books, I’d forgotten, so I retouched her". (C) Michael Gillette

8. In Germany you also did the covers for the John Gardner novels. Did you land that job the same way?

The publisher contacted my agent, I redid the type of the Fleming covers in German, then did the Gardener covers.

9. Do you have a favourite among those cover as well?

I like the ICEBREAKER cover. As a set they are more pulpy. 
I wanted to do something different, but as they are girls too, they are not far enough away from originals.
For a long time I‘ve been thinking of how to approach making another set of Fleming covers. I get asked all the time when I’m going to make more.
It is quite a difficult challenge, as one has to bring something new to the table, whilst honouring the incredible history of Bond. 
Recently the covers have all been type based. A couple of months ago I had an idea for a style that might work, and pretty soon I’d made covers for all of the set. 
They are very different from the girls. They are punchy and graphic and I made them all digitally. They look really iconic and I think they work very well....
Original German drawings of Icebreaker (left) and Brokenclaw (right) (C)Michael Gillette

10. Can any of your original drawings be bought?
I sold a couple of the Gardner paintings earlier this year, The Fleming paintings- not  at the moment, but I’ll let you know! I have a full set of the hardback books which I think I ‘m going to sign and sell on eBay soon.

11. I have seen your dogs compilation what more do you have in your pipeline.
Ah the dogs! I have some other exhibition work in the pipeline, there’s always something going on, and I’m excited to see what arises next. 

If you haven't yet visit Michaels website, here is the address once again www.michaelgillette.com

Michael Gillette working on his secret James Bond drawings hoped to be reviled soon.

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