Sunday, 17 April 2011
The piece above isn’t strictly a shield, it’s the Coat of Arms of Ankh Morpork. It was made by Bernard Pearson and it is HUGE!!!! The little piece that you can just see the side of next to it is the Bridge Over the River Ankh by Clarecraft which is a fairly chunky piece in its own right. I have never seen another one of these anywhere although I believe that several were made. I bought this piece a few years ago and adore it. At the moment it is on a shelf at the top of my stairs (forgive the red string in the photo, I was so frightened it would fall that it is secured around the top to some hooks in the wall and I’m too short to reach up and cut it off!!) but I have visions of hanging it over the open fireplace in my oak panelled library in years to come (house with oak panelled library is yet to be acquired!!).
The actual crest itself is the same as the crest on the Clarecraft Guild Joining Shield. This Shield was given to every member on joining the Collectors Guild (DWSD). It was introduced in 1993 and only retired when Clarecraft closed. These were produced in large numbers so resale value is relatively low. Roderick features on the crest along with an owl (morpork) on an Ankh. In Feet of Clay the College of Heralds reveal that puns play a large part in making the Coats of Arms. The motto running across the top is the same one as on the watch crest. The motto at the bottom, ‘Quanti Canicula Ille In Fenestra’ means ‘How much is the small dog in the window’ and dates back to the reign of King Ludwig the Tree. The Tower of Art, the oldest building in the city, the River Ankh and cabbages (a chief export of the area) also feature.
Variations on this shield were also produced. DWCG was a Shop Promotion Piece. This was exactly the same as the Joining Shield with the addition of a small plaque at the bottom with ‘The Discworld Collectors Guild’ on it. Only a small number of these were produced and top price paid is about £260.
There was a 3rd variation produced. This one was the same as the Joining Shield but was silver in colour and is the Clarecraft Aniversary Edition 1993-2003 (DWSDS). This came about when a member suggested a special gift for members who had been in the Guild since the start in 1993. When the Shield was previewed many members showed an interest in it. The purpose was changed to celebrate 10 years of Clarecraft being owned by the same people and was made available for one year to all members. The plan was that when a Guild member reached their 10th year of membership they would be sent a small pewter scroll to stick on the front of this shield. The Shield was produced in fairly low numbers but as Clarecraft closed in 2005 there would be even fewer members who got the pewter scroll. I have never seen one of these shields with the pewter scroll so have no idea of value!!! Sadly for me Clarecraft would have had to remain open until 2008 for me to get my hands on my pewter scroll!! I have now acquired one of these shields, without the pewter scroll! It's a really nice piece and it is probably the last shield I will buy as I do not like the collectors shield (described in the next post) and if I don't like it I don't buy it!
After the initial Joining Shield members had the opportunity to buy a different Shield each year. As I mentioned previously this was changed in 1998 so that each member received that years shield as a renewal gift. Due to this from the Fools Guild on the numbers made are in the thousands whereas for the 5 previous shields the numbers sold are much lower. The Joining Shield and the first 3 shields (Assassins, Beggars ad Alchemists) were designed by Leigh Pamment however Leigh sadly passed away in November 1996 (the Limited Edition Great A’tuin which he was working on when he died has a plaque dedicating the piece to him) and subsequent Shields were designed by Joe Pattison. There are many shields so I will tackle them in another entry.