There’s something so ‘connected’ about pink and blue, isn’t there? These are the classic ‘baby’ colors, they are complementary in the garden, and they simply play so nicely together. Perhaps that’s why Cybis chose to use them several times as the alternative special-version color of a sculpture. Sometimes a colorway switch can be notably less successful than the original, but not often in the case of pink/blue.
It’s interesting that although Cybis produced special variations of a number of pieces in which they altered the colorway and also changed other decorative elements as well, when they did their pink/blue alternates they changed nothing else but the color. They did this four times, all with non-limited editions: Betty Blue, Melissa, Pandora, and Young Rose.
The standard edition Betty Blue is about 9” tall and was introduced in 1974 at $175. Her dress and hair ribbons, as well as the bow on her shoe, are blue and her bodice is tinted pale blue as well.
In the late 1970s Cybis produced a special edition of 100 sculptures for a Brielle Galleries event, for which they changed the shoe, hair ribbon and dress ribbons to pink. She was named Patty Pink and was made available on a first-come first-served basis to attendees of the event. She was not individually numbered but only 100 were made. At one time I had her in my collection and should mention that the actual shade of pink was not ‘salmon’ as it appears in this photo; it was a true clear baby pink. If I recall correctly, Patty was priced at $225.
Melissa was introduced in 1976 and is 10” tall. Her issue price was $225 and she was retired before the summer of 1982. Although not based on an actual poem, her tagline in all of the Cybis advertisements was Melissa shelters the timid hare and gentle creatures everywhere. Other than her blue eyes, pink is the only color used on this sculpture. The back of her robe is especially pretty, I think, with the delicately pink-tinted raised floral decoration.
Cybis probably made this special edition Melissa in blue for one of their galleries’ events in the late 1970s or very early 1980s. On this sculpture the two bows are now blue but the robe is left completely white, giving a damask effect. It’s not known how large this edition was or whether it was given a separate name; most such editions were not, although Patty Pink is one of the exceptions – probably because of the convenient alliteration!
Originally introduced in 1967 at $75, Pandora is 5” high. Her standard edition was retired during the early 1980s at a price of $265.
Cybis created this blue version for a Brielle Galleries event during the 1970s, described simply as Pandora in blue. This was another piece that was once in my collection, and I preferred it to the retail version because the blue is softer and was consistent throughout. In fact I never bought the regular version because I didn’t like the dark blue that Cybis used on her shoes and hair bow! So when I learned that she was being done in this colorway for Brielle’s semiannual Cybis “party”, I jumped at the chance; to the best of my recollection she was priced at $150.
This special variation named April was created as a numbered issue of 400 for a one-day Cybis event at Zelden’s Galleries in California on April 30, 1983. She was available only at that event and sold for $345. She is one of the few special event editions that was given a unique specific name. It’s not known whether the standard retail edition of Pandora had already been retired when this piece was offered. I have been told that this piece was also made available to Armstrong’s Gallery (also in California) as an event piece but I do not know the edition size or whether she was advertised with the same name a second time. In my opinion, she is the prettiest of the three known Pandora versions!
The final known pink/blue duo involves Young Rose who was issued in 1987 as an open edition wearing a pink dress. At some point in the late 1980s or early 1990s a red-headed blue version called Roberta was issued for a gallery event at Armstrongs in California. This was probably a gallery edition of either 100 or 200. Theresa Chorlton attended the event and autographed many of the pieces as “T. Rose” (that being her maiden name) on the underside. (This same piece was also briefly made in white, retitled Bridesmaid, and temporarily put into the Wedding group in the late 1980s.)
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