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Ent it grand

20/09/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

Buy Tolkien in the USA - or Buy Tolkien in the UK

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Tolkien fans will shortly be able to subscribe to a public appeal to finance a Tim Tolkien-made sculpture of one of the Ent tree-beings, celebrating the author and his Birmingham roots. From October 1st 2007, courtesy of EBay, fans will be able to bid for a metal leaf with a personalised dedication.

The 20 foot high Ent will be located on Birmingham 's Tolkien Trail close to where the author lived in Moseley Village , and between his childhood home of Sarehole, later made into Hobbiton and the Edgbaston of his youth. The Ent, a benign and friendly tree-like being, will be depicted striding across a carpet of metal leaves towards Moseley Bog, the inspiration for the Old Forest in The Lord of the Rings.

The sculptor is Tim Tolkien, grandson of JRR Tolkien's younger brother, Hilary. Tim already has a track record in creating public art such as his Sentinel sculpture on Spitfire Island in Castle Vale marking the area's association with the WWII fighter plane.

The statue will be fabricated in recycled stainless steel with bronze and copper coatings. The individually wrought leaves will be embedded into a paving of resin bonded, crushed green glass at the base of the Ent. Tim says he will engrave each leaf with wording of the sponsor's choosing.

There are a total of 400 silver coloured metal leaves, some of which have already been sold to local patrons on a preferential basis. In addition there are 30 larger bronze leaves for corporate sponsors and private donors, the first of which has been reserved by The Tolkien Society.

The Moseley Statue Group who finally obtained planning permission earlier this year told they always envisaged an international dimension to the public appeal to raise the £80,000 needed to finance the sculpture.

For those familiar with the EBay worldwide marketplace, you can type ‘Ent Leaves' into the search box, and you will be offered the opportunity to ‘Buy it Now' on a strictly limited number of leaves. £500 will secure you a leaf.

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