Wednesday 29 May 2013

Badges 2008

This entry is a little different. It is not about Clarecraft items. It is about the series of pin badges that were released a few years ago by Sgt Brailles Charity Pin Emporium via PJSM designs. This entry owes a great deal to the kindness of Sandra Kidby who put together a list with the dates of release for me as I couldn't remember. There are quite a lot of pins and it would have ended up being a massive blog piece so I have separated them into years to break it down a bit. The pins were produced in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

If there are mottos on the pins I will translate except ones that are already well known or have been mentioned in this blog before. These pins were not easy to photograph due to the detail involved, the colours and the shine. I took one picture of each with and without flash and tried to pick the best.


In February 2008 the first 2 pins were released. They were released without much fanfare and only a hundred of each pin were made. It was clear that it was envisaged that there would be a whole series of pins and if you managed to get hold of the one of the first hundred you would get a collector number and be able to purchase the others of that number on first refusal. The problem with this was the pins were released at 1200 midday on a weekday. All 100 were released at the same time and they all sold out very quickly which meant that if you were at work or unable to get to a computer at that time you had no chance of getting a pin. This was recognised and the makers, realising how many people had been disappointed agreed to make a second edition. This edition would be released in 2 batches. 50 at midday and 50 in the evening to allow people a chance to get hold of them. In future there would be more made of each pin. I was one of those who missed out on the first set but I luckily managed to sneak in at the last knockings of the evening batch!!

The badges were put into various sets indicated by the edition number of each badge. Eg the badges with AM in the number are part of the Ankh Morpork set,those with PRTR are part of the Peoples Revolution of Treacle Mine Road set.

The first 2 pins in the series are the Guild of Assassins 1” and the City Watch 1”. These cost £19.99 each so not cheap but achievable. They were small but nicely detailed and enamelled. They were clearly good quality items. The CW one is plain copper coured metal. The assassins one has a touch of deep puple enamel behind the skull and 2 red gems either side with 2 smaller ones on the dagger at the top. Would be nice to wear it on a coat but I've always been too scared to. It's not so much the monetary cost that I am worried about but I have a full set and couldn't bear to be missing one!!

I have taken photo of the back of the City Watch one. You can clearly see it says DW-CW-02 (Discworld City Watch set). The Assassins number is DW AG 02.

The 02 indicates that mine is part of the second edition. These are the only 2 pins that have this second edition indicator. All other pins were produced as one larger edition. These badges were displayed in small plastic boxes with clear lids. I did think about putting in something to show the scale of the pins but I didn't in the end. The first 2 are quite small and plainly packaged compared to some of the ones that came after.



In April 2008 came the Death XXV pin. Made to mark the 25th anniversary of Deaths appearance in the canon. This one is stunning and really confirmed that this collection would be something quite special. It has 2 blue jewels for the eyes. The face, hands and edges of cloak are highly polished. The cloak detail is a darker grey and the central inset is brighter silver colour. The centre has a background of a gorgeous deep purple enamel with the legend NVLLA IVSTITIA EST EGO SOLVM EST inset in it. There is a small XXV at the bottom. Deaths motto THERE IS NO JUSTICE, THERE IS ONLY ME. The engraving on the back gives the pin number, there is no edition number this time as there was just one edition of 200. The format of the number is otherwise similar DW-DEATH-01-01. Also engraved on the back is '25th Anniversary Edition'. This pin is presented in a black velveteen case with a black card background and a black silky insert in the top. There are no other markings on the box.


In May 2008 a tradition of releasing a badge for the Glorious Revolution of Treacle Mine Road began. The story came up in Nightwatch when Sam Vimes gets transported back in time. He 'becomes' his first Sergeant, John Keel. Keel is the man who taught young Sam Vimes to be a good copper. Keel is killed, along with several others during the revolution. The lilac was in bloom and officers involved wear the lilac on 25th May to remember.

I feel I should treat these together as they are a lovely little set but I will stick to date order.

The first one came attached to an illustrated piece of card. On one side it has Sergeant At Arms John Keel and on the other a picture of a headstone with the AM crest at the top and the names of the fallen underneath. The stone bears the legend 'They did the job in front of them'. This phrase resonates with me on a massively personal level. The roundworld police force regularly loses members, to car crashes, whether on duty or on the way home after a ridicoulously long shift, to people who wish to harm us or simply because something goes wrong. I have been involved in dangerous situations and I have never gone into them thinking this is the brave thing to do, or the heroic thing, or even because I thought it was the right thing to do. Often there is no time to think at all. And although I would like to say with hindsight that I went in with some sort of noble purpose, most of time I acted instinctively and I did the job that was in front of me. It's not really something that most people would understand and I probably haven't explained myself well but with that one phrase I felt that Terry understood a lot of what being a 'copper' really is. It is probably why I love the City Watch so much.

The actual badge is quite small and is on a real piece of lilac coloured ribbon with a silver coloured lilac bloom with a copper coloured CW badge over the front bearing badge number 354 (the badge number of Keel). There are green leaves poking out from under the badge but they are pale and in fact I didn't even notice until they showed up very strongly on the photo. This badge is numbered DW-PRTR-01-01. This badge did not come in a box at all, it was presented on card inside a clear bag. I actually managed to remove it from the bag to take the photo. This is a first for this blog :-).


In June 2008 the Sam Vimes Badge was released. This is a replica of Vimes badge. This badge is very plain compared to some of the others. This is a copper coloured shield. It's nicely detailed and made. It is quite heavy and chunky. The number is DW-CWC-01-01. The box is similar to the Deaths anniversary box.



In July 2008 came the Going Postal badge. This one is on a similar scale to the first two. This is the first time I've got these pins out and properly looked at the back. This one has a lovely little going postal sign on the back. This pin was an edition of 210, I'm not sure why. This badge shows the crest of the Post Office with 2 copper coloured horns/bugles coming out at the sides . This is number DW-AMPO-01. This one was presented in a similar plastic case to the original two pins.


In August 2008 came the Ankh Morpork City Crest. This one was very expensive but amazingly detailed. To celebrate 25 years of Discworld this masterpiece was created. This was an edition of 250. This one was particularly expensive due to the size and detail. I'm not sure of the exact price of most of the pins, I think this one was around £49.99 but I may be mistaken. A truly incredible amount of work has gone into it. It is quite large but it is the detail which sets it apart. It has green enamel ribbons at the top. The crest of the UU has a red enamel hat and blue enamel background. They are tiny areas to have to enamel. Even the tiny book in the crest has the words of the UU motto raised on it clearly. There is red enamel for the curtains, dark green for the grass and plale blue for water. The hippos are detailed and chunky in silver coloured metal with gold detailing around their necks. The hippos have the AM shield between them. The hippos and shield are made in a separate piece that is then placed on the background badge. this is a technique that they have used to good effect throughout the series but this is the first time it was used. The number of this was DW-AMC-01. This one comes in black velveteen box. It has a small cardboard insert stuck in the lid. This insert explains the badge and each one is hand signed on the inside by Terry. This badge was an edition of 250.


There were no more pins produced in 2008. It did become quite hard to keep on top of them as sometimes they were coming at the rate of one a month but not always and although there was a notice to say what ones were coming soon there was no indication of when they might be released. This made it hard if you were on a budget as some were expensive and usually the money had to be found at quite short notice. Luckily I am in the fortunate position of being able to afford the pins but there were times when it was quite tight and I was worried I might miss an edition. I do seem to have quite an obsessive streak though and I was determined that I would have all the pins in my collectors number by hook or by crook.


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