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.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Original Renewal Gifts

The Guild was set up in 1994 and on joining members received the Ankh-Morpork Coat of Arms (Shield).  Each year thereafter another Shield was produced.  At the beginning these were optional with collectors purchasing them (this means that the first shields sold in low numbers). 

On renewal each year members were rewarded with a little renewal gift.  For renewing for a second year collectors were given the Pewter Keyring and Key of the Unseen University (DPKY).  These have reached up to £60 but between £10 and £30 is more usual.  I love the detail on this piece.  The bearded old wizard at the top of the key, embracing it, the clarity on the coat of arms shown on the keyring (the  motto will be explained in the Shields Section).

On the second renewal, members received Ankh-Morpork Dollars in a Velvet Bag (DPDL).  This was 2 small pewter ‘dollars’ featuring the Patrician, packaged up in a velvet pouch. 

The gift on third renewal was a Copper Lapel Badge of the City Watch (DPBD).  This is 3cm x 2cm and is genuine copper.  This badge is not to be confused with the larger badge that was available for a short while in 1995.  The larger badge was 4cm x 3cm, made of pewter with a copper finish and was on general sale for £4.99  This item was number DW95V and wasn’t very popular and was difficult to make due to the finish.  Therefore it was only available for a short time and the numbers sold are few.  (I have put these side by side in a picture so comparison can be made, the badge on the right is the renewal gift).  The renewal gift badges have changed hands for up to £50.  As noted in the Collectors Guide produced by Clarecraft, one collector got in touch complaining that the badge didn’t seem like a lot for his money!!

I waited a long while to get my hands on the little badge and it is beautifully made.  Its a shame that I daren’t take it out of the tin it lives in for fear of losing it :D.  I also feel slightly embarrassed to admit that until I went to photograph it a few minutes ago I hadn’t realised I had never even taken it out of the plastic bag.  The mad collector in me is refusing to allow me to open the bag as it is the original bag it was sealed in when it was made and, well, collectors just don’t do that sort of thing!!  I have folded the bag as best as I can to avoid the light shining off it.  I did intend to take it out of the bag, I really did but when it came down to it, I couldn’t do it.  Not even for this, sorry! 

Again, the detail in the pieces is amazing, the mottos can be clearly read.  The motto across the top reads ‘Merust in Pectum et in Aquam’, or ‘Pure in Heart and Water’.  The other motto is ‘Fabricati Diem Punc’.  I’m sure you can work that one out for yourselves but for the sake of completeness it obviously resembles ‘Make my day, Punk‘ in the ‘not quite latin‘ that can be seen in most of the Guild mottos (Latatian which Terry described as being ‘very doggy Latin‘).  That motto appears to be a truncated version of the motto of King Veltrick which was ‘Fabricati Diem, Puncti Agunt Celeriter‘, (Make the Day, the Moments Pass Quickly’). 

Carrot also suggested the Watch may have a motto of ‘The Innocent have Nothing to Fear’.  Thankfully this was vetoed by Vimes aside from the obvious inaccuracy of this sentiment (noble as it is) there are also the practicalities of finding an innocent person in AM.

At the end of 1996 Elton Murphy joined Clarecraft and took over responsibility for the Guild.  He immediately found that having different items for different renewals led to difficulties working out which member was due which gift.  He came up with the idea of the renewal gifts changing with the year, not the length of membership.  The logical choice therefore was to have the shields (that were being produced every year anyway) as the renewal gift.

I will tackle all the shields in another section.  Most shields were produced as renewal gifts however extra ones were made and released for sale.  I have already covered the Gamblers Shield but will write about the rest of them together.