Tuesday 22 March 2011

Makers marks

It would be logical to start at the beginning, the beginning for Clarecraft Discworld figurines being DW01 Rincewind.  I am not terribly logical and I think that it would be too limiting to construct the pages in that way.  There is a massive breadth of Discworld ‘stuff’ out there.  I don’t want to have to be limited to only Clarecraft when one day I might fancy writing about Bernard Pearsons’ Assassins Guild or some such.  Even within the items that are Clarecraft there is a huge variety of paint finishes, tweaks, different stamps and stickers (and even little extra touches when the painters get bored!).  The list is endless.  Ill just try and tackle things as logically as I can.  As ever, if there’s anything you want to add or ask about, feel free.

If you look closely at any Clarecraft Discworld piece there should be a couple of things in common with any other piece.  There should be a sticker on the bottom.  This sticker will give the piece name and number.  The design of the stickers changed in January 1992.  Very early pieces may have a sticker with the old Clare craft ‘Double C’ logo. Pieces made after this may have the sticker with the Discworld logo on it.  The word ‘may’ is important here as some pieces may have small plain rectangular stickers or round Clarecraft stickers rather than specific Discworld stickers or even no sticker.  On very early figures, the green felt on the bottom of the piece may be simply a circle rather than covering the bottom of the entire piece.

Early figures may also have the old trademark stamps on them.  These include the Discworld stamp, a hand written copyright name or a square block trademark.  In 1993 a new trademark and logo were produced.  This consists of a Discworld in the O of the word.

Part of the charm of Clarecraft is there is no fixed rule so there may be any combination of stamps and stickers.  I love checking any new pieces I get to see whats on there!  As time went on further alterations were made.  In about 1995 the sculptors began to sign and date each piece they made.  This will generally be handwritten somewhere on the piece.  In 1997 painters marks were introduced.  Originally they could have been written anywhere on the figure but from February 1998 small plaques were put on the figures for this purpose.  In 2001 it was recognised that Far Eastern companies were copying Clarecrafts work.  To help identify true Clarecraft pieces Pewter Hallmarks were added to each piece produced after this.  The Discworld pewter hallmarks are the same logo as on the stickers and the previous base marks.  The Discworld ones also have a ‘notch’ at the top.  Starting in 2001 these notches moved along every year to help future collectors identify what year their piece was produced.   I have attached some piccies of my own pieces to show the various stickers and stamps and also showing the painters mark and sculptors names.  I will dig out a piece with a block trademark and post it another time. 

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