This is another mammoth post split into several sections. I never guessed how many bookends Clarecraft made until I came to write about them all!!!
DW11 Rincewind Bookend - February 1991 - Closure
This was part of the first set of bookends, (the other half being DW12 Death Bookend). The quote for this piece is from The Colour of Magic ‘As a student Rincewind had never achieved high marks in precognition, but now unused circuits of his brain were throbbing and the future might as well have been engraved in bright colours on his eyeballs.’.
The piece shows Rincewind peering round a wall with a sign to The Mended Drum in the background.
This was one of those pieces that was remodelled several times resulting in several variations. It was originally introduced in Febraury 1991, but the piece caused problems with fettling and moulding due to the fact that the figure of Rincewind didn’t touch the background wall. Its distinguishing features are that both hands can be seen and the head and hat do not touch the wall. Rincewind was sculpted by Bernard Pearson and the base by Leigh. This was only made until the end of 1991. The very early version will have the original Clarecraft square trademark saying ‘Copyright 1990’. About 700 pieces of this version were made.
The second version was made from the end of 1991 until March 1993. This version had been remodelled to aid production issues. The figure is less angular and more bland. He leans against the wall with his hat point folded down on his back. He has one hand on the front of the wall and the other cannot be seen. One foot can be seen coming out from beneath his robe. His hat brim is also more ‘floppy’ than other versions. Leigh sculpted this version in an effort to resolve the manufacturing issues of the first one. This version is marked Clarecraft Designs Ltd 1991 on the back. About 500 of these were sold.
It was decided that the second version was too bland and although it made things easier it didn’t really have the fun of the previous piece. Therefore the original version was reintroduced but instead of the block trademark it has the Discworld Logo on it. This one was made from March 1993 to July 1995 and about 1500 of these were made.
The final version was remodelled by Leigh, this was a compromise between the spirit and fun of the original and the improvements in production in the second. This time there was no gap at all between the figure and the wall. Only one hand can be seen. The hat was pointy again and no foot can be seen. The hat brim and face are against the wall in this figure. This figure was available till Clarecraft closed so no official figures have been released on this particular version however, by February 2002, more than 3 years before Clarecraft shut, 8012 had been sold, with only about 2700 of these being the first 3 versions. The first piece retailed at £35.75 and increased with subsequent pieces until by 2002 it was £45.10. A version 4, the most common one recently sold for almost £70. I got a Version 1 in a job lot of 5 figures I paid £100 for. The box also included a couple of other rare pieces. The Rincewind Bookend had slight damage to the hat brim though. I was lucky enough to receive Mark 4 versions of both this and the Death Bookend (see below) as a gift.
DW12 - Death Bookend - February 1991 - Closure
Made to go with the Rincewind Bookend above, the quote is from The Colour of Magic ‘Death, although of course completely eyeless, watched Rincewind disappearing with what would, had His face possessed any mobility at all, have been a frown. Death, although exceptionally busy at all times, decided that now he had a hobby.’.
This bookend also went through various revisions leading to 4 distinct versions.
The first version was introduced in February 1991 and was sculpted by Leigh. The Death figure is a lovely exciting figure and although Death would supposedly be expressionless there is a clear impression of curiosity. His head is cocked to one side as though in puzzlement. This piece was fragile however, Death is standing right away from the wall, with one hand across where his stomach would be! The signpost to the Shades behind him is pointed, all the other versions have blunt signs. This version was produced until January 1992 and 784 were made.
The piece was completely overhauled in mid 1991. The hood of Deaths’ robe is further back from his face, resulting in an odd looking character, different from all the other Clarecraft Deaths. The sign at the back has become blunted, Death is standing more straight on, looking quite chunky in the midsection!! This version was introduced in February 1992 and sold until February 1993 and 614 were made.
In March 1993 another version was introduced as the second version was perceived to be too bland and flat and it certainly didn’t have the charm of the original piece. The hood and face of the figure were changed, making the hood come forward more like the usual Death figures. The rest of the figure stayed the same however. This version lasted until July 1995 and about 1700 were made.
The final version was introduced in July 1995 and remained available until the closure of Clarecraft. Mark 4 was a good compromise, the figure was nice and detailed and almost as charming as the original but combined with better mould life and less fragility. On this version Deaths hand is back across his stomach with his index finger extended, his other hand is curled into a fist. In common with the 3 later versions there are no gaps between Death and the wall. The cowl is more over his face and looks a lot like the original. A scythe was also added leaning against the sign in the background in order to add strength and reduce breakages. This version was available until the closure of Clarecraft.
The original retail price was £35.75, by 2002 the price was £45.00. By February 2002, 8918 of these figures had been sold meaning there are about 5820 Mark 4’s out there.
I have a Mark 1 and a Mark 4. A relative who lives on the other side of the country bought me my Mark 1 on ebay. It turned out that the person selling it worked in the same office as myself, saving on postage!!
|Mark 1 Death and Rincewind Bookends
Luggage Bookend DW13 - February 1991 - Closure
The luggage bookend depicts the Luggage crashing through a wall and has some lovely detail with the bricks that have fallen and gaps in the wall. Unfortunately although I have this piece I don’t have the tent card as it came in a job lot so i don’t know the quote.
Update!!! Thankfully,as can be seen from the comment at the bottom of here, Peter was able to provide the quote! It idsfrom The Light Fantastic. "...The luggage extended its little legs, braced itself and ran full tilt at the nearest wall. Clay bricks and dusty mortar exploded around it. Cohen peered through the hole. There was a small storeroom on the other side. The luggage stood in the middle of the floor, radiating extreme bafflement".
I also don’t know how much this retailed at or how many were sold. The piece has sold recently for £50-£60.
Librarian Bookend DW14 - February 1991 - February 2002
The Librarian bookend went with the Luggage bookend. This was introduced in February 1991 and retired in February 2002. The quote for this piece is from The Light Fantastic ‘The Librarian’s mental catalogue was ticking over perfectly. He stopped by a soaring stack of musty books and swung himself up into the darkness. There was the sound of rustling paper and a cloud of dust floated down to Trymon. Then the Librarian was back, a slim volume in his hands.’. The piece depicts the Librarian selecting a book from some shelves. This is a lovely colourful piece. It was sculpted by Leigh and sold 3436 pieces. This piece was retired as unfortunately it was one of those pieces that Clarecraft were making a loss on. A large price rise would have been necessary to bring it into profitability so it was retired instead. The piece retailed for £56.80 throughout its availability. This piece doesn’t come up very often so top prices are hard to come by.
|Luggage and Librarian Bookends