Fan Club Hand-Signed Photographs
Originally, the Fan Club issued only two hand-signed photos for sale to the general public, one of John Rhys-Davies as Gimli (limited edition of 200) and, a few months later, another of Dominic Monaghan as Meriodac Brandybuck (limited edition of 235). The first advertisement for the Gimli photo appeared in Issue #3 of The Lord of the Rings Fan Club Official Movie Magazine (June-July 2002, page 74). The original list price in 2002 was $35.
Later additions were of signed photographs of Sala Baker as Lurtz and Lawrence Makoare as the Witch King of Angmar, each with limited edition of 140. LOTR fan Wolff Morrow contacted me about an additional Fan Club autographed color photo of Gollum, signed by Andy Serkis. Here’s his story, shared with his permission.
Hello there! I found your site via Google searches concerning the decipher Fan Club autograph 8x10s that were sold to fans. I’ve yet to find a definitive list of all the ones they offer, much less photos of them. You entry shows I believe the first 4, but there were more than those offered.
For example, back in 2004 when I joined the Fan Club late while I was projection manager at a 16-screen theater while we showed The Return of the King, the Fan Club was offering a limited run of 400 Gollum 8x10s signed by Andy Serkis. I ordered one and got #77 if I recall correctly. However, some years later when the theater went all-digital and I was laid off (my 35mm skills were obsolete and so my pay was too high), I lost the autograph in my haste to clear my belongings from the booth. I have since replaced the autograph with #27 from that same limited Fan Club series.
So at any rate, I thought you might like to know there were more than the 4 you listed (at least one more for sure with the Andy Serkis 400-run). By the way, I did manage to keep several hundred 35mm frames from one of the prints I showed of The Return of the King when the run was finally ended. I picked them all out by hand as I broke the movie down for the best scenes to have frames from.
~ Wolff Morrow
Here is an edited version of the description I used on eBay in June 2010 to list a John Rhys-Davies photo. The details are similar for the other Fan Club photos I’ve seen.
Up for auction is a hard-to-find official Lord of the Rings Fan Club photograph of John Rhys-Davies as Gimli. Autographed by hand in silver Sharpie pen by Rhys-Davies, it is #24 in a limited edition of 200 high-quality, hand-signed color photos. The photo is in mint condition, and, as the close-up of the Certificate of Authenticity shows, the letterhead paper has a few wrinkles and imperfections.
This item is very scarce and I have rarely seen it listed on eBay over the past five years. With such a small number available, it’s understandable that collectors would hold on to them.
This is an unusual piece. For collectors who enjoying having as many details on their collectibles as possible, here are descriptions of this photo’s distinguishing characteristics, plus what I uncovered in my research about its history while working on “LOTR Collector Notes” about the Lord of the Rings Fan Club items.
Photo Dimensions and Distinguishing Features. The photograph is 8 x 10 inches, and is printed on Kodak Professional glossy paper. There is a white border all around for framing purposes, with the caption “John Rhys-Davies as Gimli” in a script font on the bottom. The LOTR Fan Club wordmark/logo appears in the lower right-hand corner on the front. The lot and series number is printed by hand on the back of the photograph.
Certificate of Authenticity (COA). The photograph was issued with a number-matched Certificate of Authenticity. This COA is printed on Lord of the Rings Fan Club letterhead and signed by a senior executive of the Decipher Fan Club Studio. (I have covered the signature lines for the photo.)