Cards Inc. Originals

Cards Inc. produced at least two Character Portfolio lithograph sets, as well as several individual lithographs and mini-sets for specific events (such as the LOTR Exhibition at the Science Museum in London, and conventions elsewhere), and the Masterworks series. An embossed Cards Inc. “CI” logo appears in the lower right-hand corner of each lithograph as a way to identify an authentic reproduction made from the digital original.

Additional images for some of the various individual Cards Inc. Originals lithographs and sets have been available at The Tolkien Shop.

Character Lithograph Set – Volume 1

Cards Inc. Character Portfolio Lithograph Set #1

Set #1 contains composite portraits of the following 9 LOTR characters, typically based on three different-sized photographs of the character. Each shot shows iconic looks and/or moments from one or more LOTR films, and uses these to portray a particular theme word that appears beneath the composite portrait, which appears within a circle of calligraphied Tengwar lettering of the inscription on The One Ring. The name for each character appears in the distinct typeface developed to identify a specific culture (Elven, Hobbit, Dwarf, etc.)

  1. Aragorn – Honour (Viggo Mortensen)
  2. Arwen – Grace (Liv Tyler)
  3. Boromir – Temptation (Sean Bean)
  4. Frodo – Sacrifice (Elijah Wood)
  5. Gandalf – Wise (Sir Ian McKellen)
  6. Gimli – Pride (John Rhys Davies)
  7. Gollum – Hunger (CG/digital character, featuring the acting and voice of Andy Serkis)
  8. Legolas – Glory (Orlando Bloom)
  9. Saruman – Betrayal (Sir Christopher Lee)

There is a numbered certificate of authenticity and map of Middle-earth included in the package. These art prints were reproduced from the original digital master.

The number of sets issued in this Volume 1 edition has been in dispute. The vellum map and note that shows through the circle in the cardstock cover states the edition as being 500. However, the certificate of authenticity on my set states it is #927 of 1000. Because the sets were sealed with the C.O.A. inside, the natural mistake would be that assume the error that is visible is correct the limited run is 500.

Limited editions of individually-packaged character lithographs in this same style were issued for The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy Exhibition at the Science Museum in London. Those include at least 3 characters not issued in Set #1: Galadriel (Beauty), Sméagol (Pity), and The Witch King (Despair). See later in this page for details.

Size: A3 (approximately 11.7 x 16.5 inches).

Character Lithograph Set – Volume 2

Cards Inc. Character Portfolio Lithograph Set #2

Set #2 contains composite portraits of the following 9 LOTR characters, typically based on three different-sized photographs of the character. Each shot shows iconic looks and/or moments from one or more LOTR films. The composite appears in a portrait-oriented rectangular shaped space, usually with a small portion of the character’s head breaking through the line of that rectangular box frame. The name for each character appears in the distinct typeface developed to identify a specific culture (Elven, Hobbit, Dwarf, etc.)

  1. Bilbo (Sir Ian Holm)
  2. Boromir (Sean Bean)
  3. Elrond (Hugo Weaving)
  4. Éowyn (Miranda Otto)
  5. Faramir (David Wenham)
  6. Galadriel (Cate Blanchett)
  7. King Théoden (Bernard Hill)
  8. Treebeard (CG/digital character, featuring the voice of John Rhys Davies)
  9. The Witch King (Lawrence Makoare)

There were 3,500 sets issued in this Volume 2 edition, with a Middle-earth map printed on vellum, and a numbered certificate of authenticity. (My set is #2514.) The certificate states:

This collection depicts the characters who are at the very heart of the story as they develop throughout the trilogy in the battle for Middle-earth. This exclusive art collection contains nine prints that have been meticulously reproduced from the original digital masters.

Limited editions of individually-packaged character lithographs in this same style were issued for the British Memorabilia Fair 2003 and for RingCon 2003 in Germany. Those include at least 2 characters not issued in Set #2 – Legolas and Sméagol.

Size: A3 (approximately 11.7 x 16.5 inches).

Portrait Signature Edition Lithographs

Cards Inc. Originals produced a limited edition of 1000 each for three characters in their Lord of the Rings Portrait Signature Edition:

  • Éowyn – Miranda Otto
  • Gimli – John Rhys Davies
  • The Witch King – Lawrence Makoare

The design style for these lithographs is distinct from both Sets #1 and #2. These feature cream (Eowyn), sepia (Gimli), or charcoal (The Witch King() color schemes, and a large portrait image of the character, with a smaller image inset. The border features an inscription calligraphied in runes. Each lithograph was hand-signed by the actor, and issued with a hand-numbered certificate of authenticity.

Size: A3 (approximately 11.7 x 16.5 inches).

Special Event Lithographs

Cards Inc. Originals produced special limited-edition lithographs for at least two specific LOTR promotions and events.

Lord of the Rings Exhibition – The Science Museum, London

Science Museum Galadriel Smeagol Witch King LCN

Science Museum: Galadriel ~ Sméagol ~ The Witch King

Exclusive, limited editions (2000) of separate character lithographs in this same style as Set #1 above were issued for The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy Exhibition at the Science Museum in London (16 September 2003 – 11 January 2004).

I acquired 8 of these, but there may have been more available. Three of these limited edition are characters not included in Set #1: Galadriel (Beauty), Sméagol (Pity), and The Witch King (Despair). The other character lithos are the same as the versions of their character found in Set #1.

  • Arwen – Grace (Liv Tyler)
  • Frodo – Sacrifice (Elijah Wood)
  • Galadriel – Beauty (Cate Blanchett)
  • Gimli – Pride (John Rhys Davies)
  • Gollum – Hunger (CG/digital character, featuring the acting and voice of Andy Serkis)
  • Legolas – Glory (Orlando Bloom)
  • Smeagol – Pity (CG/digital character, featuring the acting and voice of Andy Serkis)
  • The Witch King – Despair (Lawrence Makoare)

The Certificate of Authenticity states:

[…] from The Lord of the Rings Character Art Portfolio. A unique collection that captures the essence of the characters who feature at the very heart of the story. Influenced by the power of The One Ring, each individual is inspired by a diverse range of emotions and drawn into the battle for Middle-earth.”

An embossed “Science Museum” wordmark logo appears in the lower left-hand corner, in addition to the Cards Inc. embossed “CI” logo in the lower right-hand corner.

Size: A3 (approximately 11.7 x 16.5 inches).

British Memorabilia Fair (UK) and RingCon 2003 (Germany)

Legolas ~ RingCon 2003

Legolas ~ RingCon 2003

Exclusive, limited editions of 250 individually-packaged character lithographs of Legolas and Sméagol – in this same style as Set #2 – were issued for each of the following events:

  • The British Memorabilia Fair (29-30 September 2003).
  • RingCon 2003 (14-16 November 2003).

Neither of these were included in Set #2. Partial images for these lithos have been available at The Tolkien Shop.

Size: A3 (approximately 11.7 x 16.5 inches).

Masterworks Tins/Series

Details forthcoming.