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Weta is making a high end prop replica of Bilbo’s Contract (a little too high end for my budget at the moment).  If anyone would like to buy one of these and send it my way and tell me exactly what is on it, it would be greatly appreciated!  Until that time, there are some close-ups, plus an image of the entire thing (which is low-res enough to make reading it almost as difficult as it was the first time).  I’m going to leave the original post unmodified as a testament to the group effort it took to get to that point (and also because it gets corrupted each time I try to edit it).

Update: News that the Noble Collection is offering its own version just appeared on TORn, and with it an extremely helpful high-res image of much of the document (which you will be able to order this month for around $40). This post has now been updated with corrections based on this (I’m happy to say there were not many).  Notes from the margins have been added.

Additional Update: Pictures of the Weta Contract were taken by Jack Machiela, and can be seen on Middle-earth News.  Further additions and corrections have been made.  The final sections will be added shortly.  10/8/12: The majority of the contract is now transcribed below.

From the Noble Collection

1. Conditions of Engagement  {fine print}: In role as Burglar for Thorin and Company, or in any other role they see fit, at their sole discretion from time to time.

Agreed hereto, freely and under neither duress nor force nor coercion
nor extortion nor threat to life and/or limb, and superceding any prior
contract, agreement or undertaking, survivable clauses notwithstanding, signed and witnessed below, as set forth hereunder:

{fine print}: And as appended to from time to time at the sole discretion of the Director, with all new material being read as if originally included herein.

Contract at Weta Cave, by Jack Machiela

2. I, the undersigned, [referred to hereinafter as Burglar] agree to travel
to the Lonely Mountain, path to be determined by Thorin Oakenshield, who
has a right to alter the course of the journey at his so choosing, without prior notification and/or liability for accident or injury incurred.

{fine print}: Burglar agrees that any and all information given him by the Company remain Strictly Confidential

{fine print}: All conditions imposed herein are deemed to survive loss or destruction of this Document, whether by…

3. The aforementioned journey and subsequent extraction from the Lonely
Mountain of any and all goods, valuables, and chattels [which activities are described collectively herein as the Adventure] shall proceed in a timely manner and with all due care and consideration as seen fit by said Thorin Oakenshield and companions, numbering thirteen, more or less, to wit, the Company.

{fine print}: No recompense for loss of income due to any extended absence applies. Burglar is ‘at the Service’ of Thorin and Company until released therefrom.

{fine print}: …accidental or willful mishap, and any reconstruction, re-wording, updating or improvements for additions made

4. Burglar holds harmless and without blame in perpetuity the Company
and its successors for any notoriety, incarceration, or proceedings brought against, in regard to, or as a result of the Adventure or any activities related thereto.

{fine print}: Also includes slander, libel, loss of face or of social standing in country of Burglar’s origin.

{fine print}: Remedies shall similarly not be sought for any unlooked for misfortune befalling Burglar’s home during his absence.

5. Cash on delivery up to and not exceeding one fourteenth of the
total profit [if any].
{fine print}: Not including any of the gross paid to other parties in lieu of royalties or help and provisions given or loaned.

{fine print}: See also attached clause regarding early termination

{fine print}:…shall include a condition similar to this condition, notwithstanding any repetition, redundancy, over-statement or implication hereby recognized or disclosed.

{left margin}: Any and all damages brought against the Company by third parties, whether during the course of the Adventure or subsequent to it, shall be bourne by the Company and the Burglar on a pro-rata basis, but the reverse situation does not apply.

6. All traveling expenses guaranteed in any event.

{fine print}: But refer to attached and appended conditions, clauses and riders regarding any Return Journey

{fine print}: ‘Traveling expenses’ shall be understood to mean basic fare as seen fit by the Company. ‘Luxury’ catering or accommodation over and above this standard shall be employed only at Burglar’s…

7. Funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives
if occasion arises, and the matter is not otherwise arranged for.

{fine print}: …considerable [but justifiable] expense.

{fine print}: Basic funeral to ‘commoner’ or peasant standard is provided for only. Lavish ceremonies, and jeweled or gilded coffins not provided. Plain pine box is the normal standard.

{right margin}: Transport of any remains, in whole or in part, back to Burglar’s country of origin is not included.

{left margin}: Furthermore, the Company shall retain any and all Recovered Goods until such a time as full and final reckoning can be made, from which the Total Profits can then be established. Then and only then, will the Burglar’s fourteenth share be estimated and divided.

8. Burglar shall devise means and methods to circumvent any difficulties
arising from any illegal or illicit occupation or guardianship of Company’s
rightful home and property. Successful disposal of any such guardian, creature or squatter in said home shall not necessarily earn any additional monetary or fiscal reward, but will definitely guarantee Burglar (if he survives) and Burglar’s family the undying gratitude and promise of service in perpetuity and forever of the Company and its successors.

{fine print}: A plaque shall be erected and dedicated in Burglar’s honor if he meets an untimely end in attempting this feat.

{fine print}: Material size and location of such a plaque is to be decided at Director’s sole whim and desire.

{fine print}: Present Company is not obliged to assist Burglar in this so called ‘pest control’ phase of the Adventure.

by Jack Machiela

9. Eviction or elimination of any undesirable guardian of Company’s
property, goods or premises or holdings, shall take priority over the recovery of said property, goods, premises or holdings, should such a guardian be encountered. Elimination shall take priority over eviction in any and all cases.

{fine print}: Unequal relative stature of Burglar and any discovered hostile guardian, occupier or squatter shall not constitute or be considered as grounds for refusal nor excuse against undertaking the forceful removal of said undesirable guest.

10. Burglar hereby accepts, warrants, and undertakes responsibility for
his own shoes [if worn by same], clothing and personal effects for the duration of the Adventure.

{fine print}: Any item borrowed [intentionally or not] by Burglar during the Adventure shall be returned upon journey’s completion in condition or conditions similar to that/these when borrowed, or appropriate recompense made to the Company or its successors.

11. Meals provided [or not] at the sole discretion of the Director,
with due respect for availability, season, or any special dietary
requirements not disclosed at the outset.

{fine print}: ‘Meals’ here shall refer and shall be restricted to breakfast, luncheon, and evening dinner. So-called second breakfast, morning or afternoon tea, or late supper are not included.

{fine print}: Company is prepared to sample Burglar’s wines, ales, beers, and meads; in short, any beverages of a non-perishable nature, and if found acceptable, to transport such beverages at Company’s own expense.

{right side margin}: And for Company’s own consumption.

{fine print}: In such opportune circumstances, Burglar is naturally entitled to partake of what has essentially become common fare – up to one fourteenth part thereof, or less, but not more.

{left side margin}: Burglar acknowledges and agrees that each item of the Company’s valuables, goods, money or merchandise which he recovers from the Lonely Mountain [the 'Recovered Goods'] during the term of his engagement with the Company, shall remain the Property of the Company at all times, and in all respects, without limitation.

12. The Principles agreeing to this contract, namely the Company, [as
represented by Thorin Oakenshield] and the Burglar, and known collectively
henceforth as the Parties, shall signify their agreement to all clauses
contained herein [the Conditions of Engagement] by signing or making their
marks in the spaces provided for so doing, and affixing seals if applicable.
The Witnesses to this Contract, being those others whose signatures, marks or seals are affixed hereto, affirm, state, and declare their understanding and unbiased agreement to all that is contained herein.

{fine print}: Conditions subsequently appended or added to this Contract are automatically assumed to be agreed upon as if they were present,
read and understood at the signing and witnessing hereof.

13. Confidentiality is of utmost importance and must be strictly
maintained at all times. During the course of his employment with the Company, Burglar will hear, see, learn, apprehend, comprehend, and, in short, gain knowledge of particular facts, ideas, plans, strategies, theories, geography, cartography, iconography, means, tactics and/or policies, whether actual, tangible, conceptual, historical or fanciful. Burglar undertakes and agrees to maintain this knowledge in utmost secrecy and confidentiality and to neither divulge nor make known said knowledge by any means, including but not limited to speech, writing, demonstration, re-enactment, mime, or storage and retrieval within means or apparatus currently known or unknown, or as yet unthought of.

{fine print}: Company may modify or adjust this Agreement from time to time at its sole discretion, with or without notice to Burglar.

{Left side margin}: The Witnesses shall be nominated, chosen, and selected by the Director of the Company, currently Thorin Oakenshield, and no correspondence on the matter will be entered into.

14. Early termination of this Contract shall attract an early termination
fee to be determined by Thorin and Company at their sole and absolute
discretion. All clauses contained herein shall survive such termination and
remain enforceable in all countries whether existent now or in the future,
throughout the known world.

{fine print}: Each of the Parties severally represents, warrants, and covenants, that the Party possesses the ability and right to enter into this Agreement and fulfill the obligations set forth herein, and has not made any commitment with respect to the matters here discussed that are in conflict with this Agreement.

{right side margin}: Burglar may not modify or change the Agreement
except by a writing signed by both Parties.

15. Disputes arising between the Contract Parties shall be heard and
judged by an arbitrator of the Company’s choosing and all pleas shall be pleaded, shrewed, defended, answered, debated, and judged in the Dwarvish Tongue.

{fine print}: This Agreement does not obligate the Company to seek out or retain the services of the Burglar. The Company makes no promises nor representations whatsoever as to the amount of business Burglar can expect at any time in the future under this Agreement.

16. In the event of a dispute arising in relation to the terms of this
agreement, the non-prevailing party shall reimburse the prevailing party
for all reasonable fees and costs resulting therefrom.

{fine print}: Remedies shall similarly not be sought for any unlooked for misfortune befalling Burglar’s home during his absence.

{fine print}: Let the present instrument be cancelled if the said Burglar refrains from asking or exacting payments of the aforesaid amounts of money or goods for the space of one year after the time limit has elapsed for asking or obtaining the payment.

17. If any provision of this Contract is held unenforceable then such
provision shall be modified to reflect the parties’ intention. All remaining
provisions of this Contract shall remain in full force and effect.

{fine print}: If two or more provisions of this Contract conflict, Company shall decide which shall take precedence.

{fine print}: Burglar agrees to execute all papers and to perform such other acts as Company may deem necessary to secure for Company or its designee the rights herein assigned.

{right side margin}: Modified conditions are fully enforceable
and carry no less weight than any unmodified conditions contained herein.

18. The failure by one party to require performance of any provision
herein shall not affect the party’s right to require performance at any
time thereafter, nor shall a waiver of any breach or default of the Contract
constitute a waiver of any subsequent breach or default or a waiver of the
provision itself.

{fine print}: The compensation received by Burglar from the Company in connection with tasks performed pursuant to this Agreement will be the Burglar’s sole claim and interest regarding the Adventure and services performed hereunto, and Burglar will not be entitled to any royalty or further compensation, for any reason.

19. Wherefore each of the parties agree that any action in relation
to an alleged breach of this Agreement shall be commenced within one
year of the date of the breach, without regard to the date the breach is discovered. Any action not brought within that one [1] year time period shall be barred, without regard to any other limitations period set forth herein.

{fine print}: Breaches of any provision or provisions of this Contract by either Party shall be heard, pleaded, debated, defended, answered, and judged in a country of the Company’s choosing, and at a time and date of the Company’s choosing.  Burglar’s failure to appear constitutes acquiescence with Company’s ruling on the matter.

20. All conditions imposed herein are deemed to survive loss or
destruction of this document whether by accidental or willful mishap, fair
means or foul, and any reconstruction, re-wording, up-dating, or improvements or additions made shall include a condition similar to this condition, notwithstanding any repetition, redundancy, overstatement or implication hereby recognised or disclosed.

21. Any and all damages brought against the Company by third parties,
whether during the course of the Adventure or subsequent to it, shall be
bourne by the Company and the Burglar on a pro-rata basis, but the
reverse situation does not apply.

{fine print}: Burglar indemnifies and holds harmless the Company and its successors in all matters relating to charges brought against it…in relation to this or any other Adventure.

22. No recompense for ‘loss of income’ due to an extended absence shall apply.  Burglar is deemed to be ‘at the service’ of Thorin and Company until released therefrom.

{fine print}: Adventure undertaken at Burglar’s financial as well as personal risk.

{fine print}: It is assumed that Burglar will already possess and carry upon his person at all times an assortment of skeleton keys, wedges, pry-bars, masks, disguises, and other ‘tools of the trade’, and obtain same or remedy any deficiency by burglarious means and endeavors.

23. Specialist equipment required in the execution of duties in his
professional role as Burglar shall be purchased, procured, purloined or
obtained by Burglar, by whatsoever method Burglar sees fit.

{fine print}: Company may provide, for hire, equipment at its disposal. Rates to be negotiated at the time of hire.

{right margin}: Lanterns, lamps, torches, and any other equipment considered a fire risk shall be lit and operated by the fire safety officer nominated by the Company.

24. Weaponry not provided. Although the Adventure is, by its nature, a
stealthy undertaking, combat or self-defense is not unforeseeable, and
indeed may become necessary, well-advised, important, imperative or inescapable.
Accordingly, Burglar should arm himself as best befits his stature, ability, ferocity bravery, timidity, conviction and determination.

{fine print}: Company may provide swords, axes and the like, for hire at rates to be determined at its sole discretion, and subject to change without notification.

{fine print}: personal armour, mail, shields, vambraces, helmets and the like are similarly the Burglar’s own responsibility and shall be furnished by said Burglar.

25. Return Journey is deemed outside the Terms of Reference encompassed
herein, and accordingly Burglar shall return to his place of residence by his
own means, guidance, expertise and expense, but with such directions, advise and goodwill as can be offered by the Company.

{fine print}: All provision, expenses, and necessities for any return Journey shall be sourced, found and paid for by the Burglar. Provision of Transport for Burglar and/or portage of Burglar’s goods to be negotiated separately, and are in no way included or implied herein.

26. Transport provided in the form of of one [1] pony, to be returned in good
condition at the conclusion of the Adventure [or monies paid in lieu thereof].

{fine print}: portage provided for one large or two medium sized bags. Additional baggage incurs portage fees at current rates.

{right margin}: Portage rates for excess baggage on main trip, or any baggage on return trip calculated by linear dimensions or by weight, whichever is the more expensive.

{left margin}: Pipeweed and other such luxury items shall be provided by Burglar; indeed not only for himself, but for the other members of the Company if such can be obtained along the way by means pertinent to his profession.

{left side panel}: Wherefore and for which the Company promises the whole amount, to give and to pay to Burglar or to Burglar’s accredited messenger one fourteenth of total profits, if in gold then good and of correct weight, and if other than gold, then of good quality and of correct and proper measure, within one year of the completion of the Adventure.
If, however, Company does not make good on payment herein set forth, Company becomes liable for the whole amount, to give to Burglar, making the stipulation, the penalty of the double of the said amount, the aforesaid conditions remaining as settled. Furthermore, Company pledges to Burglar as security for the aforesaid promises all its goods existing and future.
The above is binding with the exception and special reservation that if the amount of goods, property, and merchandise paid thereby is transported by a third party [or indeed by parties of any other denomination or enumeration], whose safety cannot be guaranteed in any case, and furthermore the said goods, property, and merchandise fail to arrive at the destination nominated by the Burglar, then and in such a case the present instrument is cancelled, void, and of no value.
Let the present instrument also be cancelled if the said Burglar refrains from asking or exacting payments of the aforesaid amounts of money, goods, property or merchandise for the space of one year after the time or the time limit has elapsed for asking, exacting or obtaining said payment.
Without limiting the foregoing, Burglar expressly and forever waives any and all claims that Burglar may now or hereafter have in respect and in any jurisdiction to the so-called “Moral Rights” with respect to the Recovered goods. Burglar understands that he embarks upon this Adventure at his own financial as well as personal risk.

27. Adventure undertaken entirely at Burglar’s own risk. Present Company
shall not be liable for injuries inflicted by or sustained as a consequence thereof, including, but not limited to, lacerations, evisceration, incineration.

Signed: Thorin son of Thrain
Witnessed: Balin son of Fundin
Burglar: Bilbo Baggins

by Jack Machiela

by Jack Machiela

28. Each of the Parties Severally represents, warrants, and covenants that the party possesses the ability and right to enter into this Agreement and fulfill the conditions set forth herein, and has not made any commitment with respect to the matters here discussed, that are in conflict with this Agreement.

{fine print}: Adventure undertaken at Burglar’s financial as well as personal risk. Company remains blameless in all respects for any outcome.

{fine print}: In the event of a dispute arising in relation to the terms of this agreement, the non-prevailing party shall reimburse the prevailing party for all reasonable fees and costs resulting therefrom.

29. This agreement does not obligate the Company to seek out or retain the services of the Burglar for future undertakings. The Company makes no promises nor representations whatsoever as to the amount of business the Burglar can expect at any time in the future under this Agreement.

{fine print}: Each of the Parties to this Contract severally shall take all steps, execute all documents, and do everything required by the other party to give effect to any of the transactions contemplated by this Contract.

30. Burglar acknowledges that monetary damages alone will be adequate compensation for a breach of this Contract by the Company.

31. Burglar waives any and all right to recover any consequential, incidental and/or punitive damages.

32. Remedies shall not be sought nor given nor paid for any unlooked-for misfortune befalling Burglar’s dwelling during his absence.

{fine print}: Damages shall similarly not be sought as a compensation for temporary or permanent disability suffered as a consequence of the Adventure.

33. If any part of the Contract is found to be invalid, the remainder of the Contract will continue in full force and effect as if the defective and invalid provision or clause or condition had been deleted, provided that the Parties to this Contract are entitled to negotiate a valid and enforceable provision in replacement of the invalid provision.

{vertical fine print}: Adventure undertaken entirely at Burglar’s own risk. Present Company shall not be liable for injuries inflicted by or sustained as a consequence thereof; including, but not limited to lacerations, evisceration, incineration.

34. Burglar is in all respects an independent contractor, and not an employee, partner, or joint venturer or subsidiary of the Company and is not entitled to pledge the credit of the Company. The Burglar agrees that at no stage during or subsequent to the Termination of this Agreement will the Burglar claim that he is or was an employee of the Company.

35. The Company may terminate this Contract for any reason or for no reason by giving one [1] day’s notice to the Burglar. Such termination will take effect upon the expiry of the notice period. The Company reserves the right to summarily terminate this Contract immediately upon notice or without notice at any time for any serious breach of the provisions contained herein by the Burglar.

36. Burglar may not modify or change this Contract in any way except by a writing signed and agreed by both Parties hereto.

37. The compensation received by the Burglar from the Company in connection with tasks performed pursuant to this Agreement will be the Burglar’s sole claim and interest regarding the Adventure and services performed hereunder, and Burglar will not be entitled to any royalty or other compensation, for any reason.

{right vertical bar}: This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties, and replaces and supersedes all prior understandings and agreements whether written or oral, with respect to the subject matter described and set forth herein.

Except as is set forth in the key provisions, Burglar will not cause, authorize, license, permit or allow any distribution of the recovered goods in any form whatsoever without the Company’s written permission, which may be granted [or not] at the Company’s sole discretion.

Update 10/27: TORn member Timdalf has conveniently replicated the content of the contract into pdf form here.