Guards! Guards!

by Terry Pratchett
Published by Gollancz, London, 1989 (First Edition)
Book dimensions: H 220 x W 150 x D 35mm
Box dimensions: H 241 x W 175 x D 55mm
Sample board #58
Bound in 2021
Collection of Anthony Davis, UK

About the book:
Guards! Guards! is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, the eighth in the Discworld series, first published in 1989. It is the first novel about the Ankh-Morpork City Watch.

About the binding:

  • The book is bound in black goatskin with onlays in gold, maroon, orange and white across the binding.
  • The leather is embroidered over the onlays with coloured silks and metallic threads using a variety of embroidery stitches.
  • There is some acrylic paint detail depicting smoke coming-out of a dragon’s mouth on the front cover of the book. 
  • The foredge of the text block is tooled with a single line of gold foil to join together a line travelling across from the front to the back endpaper. 
  • The title of the book was tooled in carbon onto white circular leather onlays and stuck to the spine.
  • The endpapers were made by first rollering bronze-coloured ink onto Zerkall paper.
  • Bookshelves with mini books on them were built up using paper and thinly-pared leather cut-outs in a variety of colours.
  • The books on the shelves are adorned with a variety of gold leaf motifs and embroidered detail.
  • The doublures and endpapers have a line running across them, embroidered with metallic thread.
  • There is a wooden veneer library ladder inset into the front doublure.

Design Description:
The design of this binding was based on one of the two dragons in the story, the majestic traditional type one rather than the “little odd dragon named Errol” who is “pear-shaped and can’t fly”. Designed to span the cover and highlighted in copper, gold, reds and purples to contrast against the black covering leather.

The endpapers and doublures were designed to look like library shelves, with significant books from the novel, plus the private library of the owner, depicted sitting on them in miniature. An unravelling ball of string is sewn across the front and back endpapers and doublures, also spanning the foredge of the book to tie them together.

More details about this binding can be read over four blog posts, starting here.

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