Tuesday 20 September 2011

More Bookends

Rincewind, Luggage and Cat Bookend - September 1994 - February 2002

This is actually about 2 pieces.  In January 1992 Leigh sculpted a figure of Rincewind caught by the Luggage, DW25.  The quote is from the Colour of Magic ‘It was when he tried to move that he found his robe was caught on some obstruction.  By craning his neck he found that the edge of it was being firmly gripped by the Luggage’s lid.’.  
It’s a very attractive piece and was available both painted and in the ‘bronze’ finish.  Originally Clarecraft felt that a lot of people may be put off by the price of the painted pieces.  In order to make some early pieces more affordable they were made available in painted finish and in a ‘bronze’ or ‘pewter’ finish.  It seemed that people did prefer to save up for the painted items though and some of these figures in the bronze and pewter finishes are the rarest of all with sometimes only 1 or 2 sold.  Clarecraft eventually stopped offering pieces in these finishes however for larger pieces such as the Bridge Over the River Ankh there was a ‘wooden’ finish available and these were more popular.  The price for the painted finish was £25.25 (rising to £27.50 on retirement) and £17.65 in the bronze finish.  When Clarecraft was taken over in March 1993 it was found that DW25 was selling at a loss.  It was decided to retire the figure in December 1993.  1038 were sold and the top price ever made was £460.  It has sold for considerably less however.  
Clarecraft thought that the piece was too nice to ‘waste’ and they decided to make it into a bookend and re release it.  This led to DW41, Rincewind, Luggage and Cat Bookend.  This piece came with the same quote as the original.  By releasing the figure as a bookend Clarecraft were able to raise the price to bring it into profitability and give people ‘added value’ for their extra money.  This piece was introduced in September 1994 and retired in February 2002.  Only 615 were sold, probably because the original RRP was £90.  Personally Rincewind is not one of my favourite characters and I’m not all that keen on the first 2 books in the Discworld Canon.  Consequently I do not have too many Rincewind figures.  I do really like my DW25 though (another job lot bargain!).  It is a nice simple figure and quite comical.  I do not have a DW41 and I’m not sure of top price paid as they come up very rarely.

Ruby and Detritus DW27 & DW28 - January 1992 - August 1992

In January 1992 a pair of bookends featuring Ruby and Detritus was released.  There is no quote with these pieces.  They were sculpted by Leigh ad were released without being seen or approved by Terry.  He saw them in a shop in August 1992 and really didn’t like them so they were deleted immediately.  Less than 50 of each piece was sold.  They retailed for £25.26.  I find these pieces particularly ugly and although I always like to have rare items, as I really don’t like these pieces I am unlikely to ever buy them.  The pieces are very ‘grey’.  Detritus is depicted as a drooling idiot clutching a bunch of flowers and Ruby is standing coyly by.  They do not seem to bear any relation to the characters and it seems as though they were sculpted without ever reading the books.  The top prices have varied but usually remain high.  The highest was £720 for Ruby and £800 for Detritus but they rarely if ever go for less than £300 a piece.  They do come up fairly often for such rare pieces.  
These bookends are not to be confused with the later, Terry approved bookends that were released as Event pieces at the 2001 Event (DWE14 & DWE15) and then later for general sale as DW131 & DW132.  These pieces were covered in the Event pieces section.  They are very handsome with both characters depicted in evening dress.  I did have a pair of these that my father bought for me, unfortunately Detritus met with a tragic accident and lost his head so I only have my Ruby left.  The Event pieces were a Limited Edition of 100 painted by Clarecraft and unlimited PYO.  The general release pieces were introduced after the Event in August 2001.  They were retired in November 2003 as they were heavy pieces which made it hard on the painters.  They also didn’t sell very well with just 193 Ruby and 185 Detritus sold.  They had a retail price of £49.95.

Draco Nobilis DW109 & DW110 - February 2000 - November 2002
These bookends were introduced in February 2000.  Sculpted by Dave Meredith they depict events from Guards Guards.  In the book the city of Ankh-Morpork is threatened by a Draco Nobilis, a large traditional dragon summoned by the Elucidated Brethron of the Ebon Night for the nefarious purposes of their leader.  It is left to the Watch to tackle the dragon, save the city and rescue the girl (Lady Sybil is introduced in this book and is rescued by Vimes after nearly becoming lunch for the dragon who requires ladies of a certain virtue!).  Lady Sybil is a renowned expert on dragons approached by Sam Vimes for assistance.  She gives the Watch a small swamp dragon (Draco Vulgaris) whom they name Errol.  In the event Errol assists the Watch in taming the Nobilis after it transpires she is a female.  The left bookend, DW109 shows Carrot at the head of the dragon.  The dragon is beautfully sculpted and painted.  In the book Carrot, true to form, attempts to arrest the dragon and is depicted reading the dragon its rights, the notepad in Carrots hand even  has scribbles on it.  The right hand bookend DW110 shows Errol at the tail of the dragon.  The large dragon is red and Errol is green.  The quote for the Errol side is ‘Lets be honest: the chances of a dragon the size of Errol beating something that big are a million to one.’.
The pieces were retired in November 2002 as the Carrot bookend in particular was so heavy that it was causing considerable pain to the painters.  Around 600 of each piece were sold.  The Carrot side retailed for £49.95 and the Errol end for £29.95.  Both pieces have very recently reached £90 each.

Deaths Study DW149 & Deaths Bathroom DW150 - Febraury 2003 - Closure

These bookends were sculpted by Joe Pattison, they bring to life the beautifully described house in Deaths Domain.  The quote is ‘You didn’t expect the rubber duck.  It was yellow.  You didn’t expect the soap.  It was suitably bone white, but looked as if it had never been used before.  Beside it was a bar of orange soap which certainly had been used - it was hardly more than a sliver.  It smelled a lot like the vicious stuff used at school.’  This quote is from Soul Music, the first Pratchett book I ever read.  Deaths Study depicts Death sat behind a desk in his study gazing thoughtfully into space.  His desk even includes a small stress toy, something he will have seen somewhere and attempted to replicate without any understanding of its purpose.  DW150 is Deaths Bathroom and is faithful to the quote entirely.  The only thing missing is the vicious smell of the orange soap!! The duck and the soaps are there, the solid towel is also there, something else that Death saw but didn’t entirely understand, not realising it had to be soft and pliable.  This piece is so detailed and pretty, the finish on the bath and toilet cistern is nice and there is even a little plug and chain in the bottom of the bath.  The study retailed at £44.99 and the bathroom at £49.99. These are such attractive pieces, the bathroom in particular. Its colourful and fun and depicts exactly why this particular Death is so endearing. These pieces have reached approximately £90 apiece.

Lancre bridge DWE11 & DWE12
These pieces have already been discussed in the Event pieces section.  This set of bookends was another set for an event, the 1999 event.  Available in 100 painted sets and unlimited PYO they are beautiful but very prone to breakages.   

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