Inveterate Cybis collectors may also be interested in the different display signs that the studio made available to their retail dealer network between the 1960s and early 1990s. Because the studio did not use an intermediary (distributor) all interaction took place directly between the retail store owner and the studio administration… at least that was the case during the decades during which there was a studio/dealer relationship.
All the Cybis dealer signs were designed by Vincent Ceglia, a noted artist, graphic designer and illustrator. Although Mr. Ceglia did not work at Cybis, he designed the dealer signs as well as a number of Cybis print catalogs and advertising materials during the 1970s.
This first circa-1960s display sign is a porcelain representation of the Cybis signature applied to a wood block shaped as an isoceles triangle. The wood appears to be mahogany in either a lighter or darker stain. It is 4” high and 2” deep.
This 1970s sign marks the transition by Cybis to all-porcelain dealer/display signs. Featuring their horizontal phoenix logo, it stands about 3.25” high, 4” wide, and 2.25” deep.
When Cybis revised its phoenix logo in 1980 they also introduced a display sign to match. It is impressed 1980 in the mold. Dimensions are approximately 4” high, 3.25” wide, and 2″ thick.
Their next dealer sign (probably from the mid or late 1980s) used the “older” horizontal phoenix logo. Perhaps this was the design that came in second to the rectangular version back in the 1970s. The curvy freeform shape came in two sizes and was made in three color versions and two sizes (4″ high and 2.5″ high.) The white bisque colorway is shown above.
The gold edge trim on the white with gold decoration sign is matte, while that used on the phoenix and Cybis name is glossy. It is 4″ high, about 4.5″ wide, and 1.75″ deep. This sign was probably introduced in either 1989 (to match the gold-decorated sculptures that were being marketed in connection with the Golden Anniversary Year) or the launch of the Collectors Society in 1995. The back of this sign reads: Cybis Porcelain Studio established in 1940 by renowned artist Boleslaw Cybis continues to maintain its traditional artistry in Trenton NJ USA (I think it would have sounded better if “The” had been the first word, but that’s just me being picky!)
This third colorway is decorated entirely in matte finish gold rather than the mix of matte and glossy shown above.
Cybis also made this sign in a “mini” version as well, as a free gift for those who joined their Collectors Society in 1997 and paid the $55 membership fee. Oddly it does not coordinate with the white/gold color scheme of the club, nor does it have any special marks which all the other club pieces have. This downsized/mini sign is only about 2.5″ high and the back says just Trenton N.J. due to lack of space. It is shown next to the standard size version for comparison.
During the 1990s Cybis began selling their display sign as a retail item; I have found it on three price lists during that decade. Although the lists aren’t illustrated, I am assuming that these were the most recent (freeform) shape. Interestingly the 1993, 1995 and 1999 price lists show three available colorways: white bisque for $50, color (????) for $75, and gold (assuming the gilt trim here) for $100. I have never seen a color-decorated Cybis sign, so I’m very curious about that. Unfortunately none of the lists give the size of the sign, so we don’t know whether they were the standard or the mini versions. No Cybis signs were offered on their website during the 2000s.
The usage years of this last sign are unknown but it may have coexisted with the others during the late 1980s or very early 1990s. It is made of a single piece of white plastic molded into an L shape that ‘sits upon’ the short end. The Cybis logo and “Trenton, New Jersey” are screenprinted onto the front in gold; the rest of the sign is plain. From the photo is appears that the material may be very slightly opaque. The size was not provided but judging by the size of the item it was next to in the photo, a height of about 3.5″ and a width of between 4″ and 4.5″ would be a fair guess. This screen printed plastic sign is the only one I have seen that was not made of porcelain.
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