One of the hallmarks of Dave McKean's early Sandman covers were the photographic elements framing the central painting, as if you'd stumbled across the piece hanging in curio cabinet or against an overstuffed bookshelf. But before Photoshop made adding these elements as simple as clicking a mouse, McKean decided not to collage his covers but instead to build them as three-dimensional displays.
Sandman writer Neil Gaiman linked to these images comparing McKean's cover dioramas with the finished products. The chairs give you sense of just how huge the original pieces were. McKean would have them photographed and then send the transparencies to DC. It's interesting to see how he was able to then treat each cover not just as a painting, but also as a set that he could dress and detail.