Wednesday 9 November 2011

City Watch, Final Part

First off, apologies. I was going to take a photo of Cheery and one of Angua from newsletters I have, however I'm feeling grim so I will dig these out and put the piccies up when I am feeling better!

Cheery Littlebottom DW133

Cheery Littlebottom first appears in Feet of Clay. Cheery is not interested in more usual dwarfish pursuits. She is interested in alchemy but unfortunately got expelled from the guild. This interest in chemistry stands her in good stead for becoming the first forensic Watch officer. Cheery is also the first dwarf we encounter in the series who admits to being a female. Dwarfs are normaly all referred to as males, this has drawbacks as cheery points out to Angua, ‘you can do anything the men do...’ ‘Provided we do only what the men do’.Cheery causes a scandal in dwarf society for choosing to wear leather skirts, heels on her boots and makeup. However as well as the bad reactions she gets she also has dwarfs approaching her and asking her advice on lipstick! Clarecraft did produce a Cheery Littlebottom figure, however, when they showed her to Terry he was not at all happy with the figure. He said she looked too much like a spaniel. To me, Cheery is an intelligent and independent little figure who stands up for what she believes in. In the piece she is shown gazing upwards and looks a bit feeble. 20 of these were produced but were never released for general sale. Although Terry did not approve them for sale, he did agree that a few could be sold for charitable purposes. These have been sold at auctions at events and on eBay. The have made up to £1600. This is another piece I am unlikely to ever get, unless I set aside my golden rule as I’m not really a big fan of this piece.

Constable Downspout DW135

Downspout is a gargoyle. Starting with Men at Arms the Watch starts to become more diverse and by the latest books we are seeing Watch members who are gnomes, gargoyles and even vampires. Constable Downspout first appears in Feet of Clay. Gargoyles make ideal surveillance officers as although they don’t move much (indeed, they are ‘world champions at not moving’) they don’t miss much that goes on in their patch either. They are usually given names indicating their location, eg. Cornice Overlooking Broadway and their movement is said to resemble bad stop motion animation. Due to the fact that gargoyles mouths are permanently open they can take a bit of translating, Vimes in Men at Arms is told that even the gargoyles know Carrot, “Ee cuns uk ere um-imes an awks oo ugg”. We later learn that they are a type of troll. Constable Downspout has no use for money but is paid in pigeons (a staple food apparently).

This piece was sculpted by Richard Banks and was introduced in 2002. He was retired at closure and I have no numbers sold. The original RRP was £34.95. I do like this figure, I like the colour of him and he is another very tactile piece. I do wonder how popular he would have been though.

There was an appeal in the November 2001 Newsletter announcing this piece and requesting suggestions for the quote to be put on the tent card! The winner was a quote from Feet of Clay. “‘Constable Downspout’s a gargoyle, Sir. He’s no good on parade and bloody useless on the street but when it comes to staying in one place, sir, you can’t beat him.’”. (For posterity, Andy Birch won the competition!)

Draco Nobilis Bookends DW109 & DW110 - covered in the Bookends section

Angua Mid Change DW166

This Angua was one of the pieces released at the very end of Clarecrafts existence. There were several pieces released in one go, including the Monstrous Regiment set, the Golden Statue and Post Office Stamp, the Standing Vetinari and Ponder Stibbons. Angua is well known in the books for not minding being seen in her wolf state or her human state but always being very modest about being seen in the in between state. For this reason I am not really enamoured with this piece. It is something Angua herself did not want people seeing and I don’t think it makes a particularly attractive piece although the helmet and mail by her feet was a nice touch. Mind you, out of all the figurines they released at this point this one is the only one that I don’t think is a little work of art so I think they can be forgiven. For obvious reasons then (my golden rule!!) I don’t possess this piece. I do however have the Clarecraft Collectors Newsletter where she was announced so I will attach a picture of the illustration in the newsletter. All of final figurines sold in low numbers, although we don’t know how low! Angua was one of the pieces that had a lower RRP, Jade from Monstrous Regiment having the heftiest price tag (mainly for being an extremely hefty piece!) Angua was sculpted by Joe Pattison and introduced in May 2005 and retired just a few months later on closure. The tent cards issued with these pieces tended not to be cards at all and were generally just printed on paper. I do not have the quote for this piece.

The Pair of Drunken Guards DW29

This was sculpted in late 1992/early 1993 by Leigh, at about the same time he produced the pair of assassins that later went on to become DW159, The Ankh Morpork Handshake. This is referred to as the ‘lost’ piece. It featured Nobby and Colon in a rather inebriated state, one was produced and it was in the Clarecraft Museum. Unfortunately at some point the piece vanished from the museum, presumably taken by a light fingered visitor. It has never come up on eBay so presumably the person who acquired it is aware that they have to keep a low profile with it. Hopefully, any collector that came across this would be aware of the history of the piece to avoid buying it in good faith. There are obviously no other details on this piece.

Update October 2015.
A dedicated collector managed to get hold of a DW29. It was produced from a discovered mould and painted for him so is not the stolen original but a more recent, newly made piece. He has kindly allowed me to post a photo of the piece on my blog so that people who have never seen one can have a look :-). He also is the lucky owner of a Cheery Littlebottom and she features in the photo too so we get two for the price of one. :-). Thank you Hans-Rudolf Werner.


  1. Hello CommanderVimes,

    At last i know now why there was a name for DW29 but it was never launched.
    Thanks, another piece of the puzzle solved.

    About Cheery Littlebottom. I think that's reason that Terry did not allowed it for sale. Although i must say it looks nice in my cabinet.


  2. It is a real shame about the drunken guards. I'm sure I saw a picture of them somewhere but I couldn't find it for this entry.

    You must have been very lucky, or very determined to get your hands on a Cheery!!! Lots of collectors would give their right arm for her :)

  3. About Cheery, did not cost me an arm. 1 pound was enough.
    Won her on lottery at the CCDE2005!
    My first, and last, trip, to a CCDE and what a price to take home.

  4. In that case you were very lucky! what a return for just £1!!!

  5. would you lile photos of Dw29 Vimes and Nobby ?

    The two guards were never released, the only ones made would have been trial samples out of the mould. Trish of Clarecraft had ONLY one in her posession, in the musuem and it disappeared - the only time that anything has been nicked!! I hasten to add that the one shown above is not it - the clothes are the wrong colour. ( Trish thinks that someone got hold of a white and painted it, 16/05/04 has it turns out it was Trish herself who painted the figure in water colours, or in Trishs own words

    "So I need a Brain transplant - duh. I'd forgotten about the ones I did - there is a Magrat and a Colon like that in the Museum too. (painted with my water colours so quite different from the CC finishes.)"
    A copy has since been made of the original for the museum - luckily it had been photographed, so they knew how to paint it - but obviously it's not the same as having the REAL thing. see below.

  6. That would be great :-). Unfortunately i have been having back trouble again which means i cant get pictures of the pieces i have got at the minute!! A photo of the lost guards would be lovely, i dont think my description does it justice!!!