In the circle of miniatures collecting, the word 'rare' is perhaps one of the most used and abused adjectives that I can think of. Just scour the minis listings on eBay and you'll see what I mean - there are plenty of sellers who tag just about every single model they sell as 'OMG RARE' even when what they are peddling is anything but (this is something that I too am guilty of from time to time, just so all the pots are properly calling all the kettles black).
So a couple of weeks ago, this thread was posted over on the Acaeum.com that showed a painted ogre mage miniature that had been sculpted by David C. Sutherland III, one of the most famous artists from the early days of D&D and AD&D. As a raving miniatures geek, I was of course captivated by it.
The very notion that this miniature was sculpted and cast, but not released to the general public, is the kind of thing that causes some lead junkies to twitch uncontrollably. I'm not sure if this is a multi-part casting or not, but I have been informed by the owner that it does have at least one hallmark on the base: DCS 93. And if it actually was limited to around 100 or so castings, possibly even less, then it really is a miniature worthy of the 'rare,' 'super rare,' or 'ultra-rare' tag.
As if the miniature alone wasn't cool enough, the outstanding diorama seen in the photos was created and wonderfully painted by Angela Imrie, known as SaxonAngel on the Coolminiornot.com site. I've never been ashamed of my own modest painting talents, but artists like SaxonAngel really know how to create a true miniature masterpiece.
Thanks to fellow Acaeum.com members mdr003 for providing additional info on his treasure, and to Blackmoor for starting the thread and posting the pictures.