Tuesday 18 December 2012

The Witches Part Two

Continuing with the Witches, here is the next part featuring the Witches in Flight and Seated. The next (exciting) instalment will move onto other characters who are related to the Witches.

Flying Witches

Granny Weatherwax in flight DW51

Nanny Ogg in flight DW52

Magrat in flight DW53

This version of the Witches was definitely designed as a set. They were Terry's suggestion who had visions of them being displayed a la the flying ducks once so popular. I never managed to get the painted versions but I have a handsome set of the bronzed versions. For some reason these pieces work really well in bronze finish and unusually sold rather well. The painted versions were quite intricate so cost a fair amount more. With there being three of them it might have pushed more people into buying the bronzed ones. You could get all three bronzed ones for around the same price as one painted Nanny!! The bronzed versions have B after the number.

Mine are hung on my staircase wall. Such a cliche. They haven't been dusted for a while, mainly due to my back injury and the fact that I'm happy vacuuming the tops of picture frames but I'm loathe to risk damaging these. I apologise for the state of the pieces!! When I came to take one down to dust it off a bit I found that when I painted the wall I was clearly worried about my pieces being off the wall. The picture hook had paint on it and the piece was stuck to the paint so had clearly been put back up while the paint was still wet. In a house with cats you can't be too careful but that seemed a bit extreme. Although seeing as my beloved Lias Bluestone had his drums damaged this week I could probably stand to be a little more careful.

I have some very early newsletters where these pieces are mentioned. In the May 1995 newsletter Nanny and Granny had been completed and approved by Terry. However, he had not been happy with Magrat, describing her as looking like a 'female pig farmer'. Adjustments were made and her legs and biceps were slimmed down. Prior to pieces being made, line drawings were done to get a feel for how the piece may look. The early newsletters often featured these drawings and they are very interesting. These newsletters are few and far between and I thought people might be interested to see the drawings for these pieces. I have taken photos of them for that purpose. I hope it is interesting to people.

The pieces were sculpted by Leigh and both versions were introduced in September 1995. The bronzed versions were retired in November 1999. The bronzed ones cost £14.95. In the bronzed edition 668 Grannies were sold, 529 Nannies and 476 Magrats. They have reached £50.

The painted ones were introduced at the same time but retired later, in August 2001. The prices varied, Granny and Magrat cost £29.95 and Nanny (with her extra detail) cost £39.95. 1942 Grannies, 1381 Nannies and 1390 Magrats were sold. It is interesting how in the painted editions roughly the same number of Nannies and Magrats were sold. There are a lot of lonely Grannies out there!! This version can fetch considerably more, a Nanny has made £142. They don't come up too often and tend to fetch around £50-£70 each.

The pieces are really, really lovely. They bring the quotes to life wonderfully. I love how clearly they show the personalities of the witches. From Granny sitting bolt upright with her arms folded, clearly in control of her world to Nanny complete with scumble, Greebo and a banjo to Magrat with her flowers in her hair. The little details just bring the characters to life. I would dearly love a painted set. I love my bronzed ones flying down my stairs but the detail of the painted ones is hard to resist!

The pieces each have their own quote. They are all from Lords and Ladies.

It is clear which quote relates to which witch :-)

"The first one - let us call her the leader - flies bolt upright, in defiance of air resistance, and seems to be winning".

"The second is dumpy and bandy-legged with a face like an apple that's been left too long and an expression of near terminal good nature. She is playing a banjo and, until a better word comes to mind, singing. It is a song about a hedgehog.".

"She travels with an air of vague good natured hopefulness. There are flowers in her hair but they're wilting slightly, just like her.".

I have added the picture from the catalogue of the witches as they were imagined by Terry. Flying up the stairs. Mine have to fly down the stairs so the effect isn't right :-)

Seated Witches

This is another set of the witches in the same pose with slightly different details. I must admit that I don't know much about the seated witches. I do have the Granny and Nanny ones but only because they were available as PYO at one of the events. I have taken pictures of my efforts. Please try not to mock too much!! I love the details on the pieces. Nanny has her scumble and is in a more rustic type of chair with her feet up. Granny true to form is bolt upright on a less comfortable looking chair. I love the detail of the mouse under her hat and the frog behind her chair. Again Granny is my favourite. I love how proper she is :-)

These three were sculpted by Joe. Nanny was introduced first in 2000 with the other two following later. They were available up until closure. I do not have numbers sold. They retailed at £34.95 and tend to make around £30-£40.

DW126 Seated Nanny Ogg


DW129 Seated Granny Weatherwax


DW130 Seated Magrat


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