Tallis had a sly sort of look about him, with a small goatee and a handlebar moustache. He had small blue eyes, rosy cheeks and a slightly pointy nose. He was known to wear Muggle clothes, including a white shirt, orange waistcoat, beige and red striped trousers, a plum-coloured coat with turquoise lapels and cuffs, plum-coloured pointed cap with a turquoise and white triangle-patterned band, a pink scarf with golden swirls and brown leather shoes with red laces.
Behind the scenes
- This rather bizarre-looking figure is included on the back of the original Bloomsbury cover by Thomas Taylor. In later editions, he was replaced with a clearly recognisable portrait of Albus Dumbledore. The fandom was left baffled, as this wizard did not correspond to any character in the books. The artist later revealed that he was commissioned to paint 'a wizard to decorate the back cover', and so he did a generic wizard based on the likeness of his father, that 'disappeared in a puff of smoke' to make way for Dumbledore when the publishers were repeatedly called on to explain who that wizard was.
- Most fans tended to presume that he was a younger Dumbledore, Quirinus Quirrell, or Nicolas Flamel (from the large bulge in his pocket, that could potentially be the Philosopher's Stone).
- On Thomas Taylor's blog, this wizard was referred to as "Wizzy", on the jpg file name. The artist, however, later explained that the word "wizzy" was simply his choice for a quick filename and not an actual name for the wizard. Questioned further about this wizard by an argentine named Alfonso Ferrer, Taylor said "Yes, he was only ever intended to be a generic wizard to decorate the back cover, so never needed a name. If he really needs one now, let him be Robertus Tallis."
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First editions cover art only)