Hands up anyone who remembers Kit Williams and
his golden hare? How I wish we could all have another
dose of his magic in our lives again right now.
And for those of you for whom the name doesn't ring any bells
let me enlighten you immediately although sadly much,
much too late to join the treasure hunt his beautiful book which
sold two million copies worldwide sparked back in August
1979 when virtually the entire nation fell captive
beneath it's spell
Masquerade as it is called is a picture book like no other which was
both written and illustrated by Kit. However his talents don't stop
there as he also created a breathtakingly beautiful, jewel
encrusted 18 carat golden hare which he then hid in a secret
ceremony with just one celebrity witness, Bamber Gascoigne,
somewhere in the British countryside (Ampthill Park, Bedfordshire).
Clues to the location were buried deep within the pages and
lavish illustrations of the book. The riddle was finally solved in
1982 and the amulet was later bought at auction in 1988 by a
mystery buyer for an astonishing £31,900.
It can still be read to this day as a charming children's tale about the
moon falling in love with the sun with Jack Hare as their go-between
but the buried treasure has long since been discovered by the winner
after deciphering correctly all the fiendishly difficult clues.
A second puzzle book followed some time later and this time the
challenge was to discover it's title and represent it without the
use of the written word.. Often referred to as "The Bee
Book" the answer was finally revealed as "The Bee on the Comb".
And just like all good nursery tales the competition ran for exactly
a year and a day.
|The Wishing Fish clock|
Kit went on to publish a couple of other books and was also
commissioned to create three public clocks with elaborate mechanisms
and moving parts such as animals. He is now virtually a recluse and
continues to paint figurative art at his studio in Gloucestershire.