The extremely popular unicorn collecting genre was not overlooked by Cybis, and in fact they did a rather nice job of it, too – going way back to the first decade of the modern studio in the 1960s. That other fantasy equine, Pegasus, was not neglected but let’s take a look at the Cybis unicorns first.
Cybis’ first (and considered by many to be their best) depiction of this magical beast was named simply Unicorn and is 15” tall. Introduced in 1969 as a limited edition of 500 priced at $1250, it sold out completely by 1974 at a final retail price of $1450. It was designed by Lynn Klockner Brown.
Next came the Unicorns ‘Gambol and Frolic’, in a smaller scale at 8.5” high. This limited edition of 1000 sold out in only three years (1977–1979) and closed at $450. Designed by Susan Eaton.
Designed by Lynn Klockner Brown, the regal Unicorn Head ‘Prince Brocade’ appeared in 1981 and is 14.5” high. A completed edition of 500, it debuted at $2200.
The first open (non limited) Cybis unicorn was Sir Bailey who is 4.5” high. Introduced in 1982 at $365, he was designed by Susan Eaton who also designed more than twenty different unicorns for Lenox. In 1993 Sir Bailey was $475.
This holiday variation named Mistletoe has a wreath of (what else?) mistletoe around his horn instead of the usual flowers, and his collar is decorated in a red/green colorway. He was a retail edition introduced sometime between 1988 and 1990.
This variation definitely was a nonlimited retail version; it debuted on the 1988 Cybis price list as ‘Tender Feelings’ (Unicorn) under a ‘Sweetheart’ category, for $450 and was retired in the late 1990s. It differs from Mistletoe in the collar decoration (there is no gold trim) and the wreath around his horn which appears to be pink and trimmed in tiny hearts. There is also a jewel-like adornment on his forehead that does not appear on either the standard or holiday version.
Back to the limited editions with the Carousel Unicorn in 1985. A limited edition of 325 priced at $1275 initially, by 1988 he cost $2050. He is just a bit over 13” high including the base. Designed by Susan Eaton. (The other Cybis carousel equines can be seen here.)
The following year (1986) saw the introduction of The Lady and The Unicorn, a limited edition of 750 which is 10.25” high. he introduction price was $1200 which in only two years rose to $1450. In 1993 the Cybis price was $1975. This was designed by Lynn Brown. The photos above show the standard retail edition coloration which is in shades of green, reddish brown and beige. The lady herself was subsequently issued in the late 1990s as a stand-alone limited edition named Lady Elizabeth (who has her own Archive post.)
This is a special Lady and The Unicorn decorated in custom pastel colors. Only one exists in this colorway.
The final Cybis unicorn sculpture was another nonlimited edition by Susan Eaton. Lord Bentley, introduced in 1987 at $495, is described by Cybis as being the “companion to Sir Bailey” which was the only other nonlimited unicorn. In 1993 Lord Bentley was $595 and was also offered as a pair with his friend Sir Bailey ($475) for $1075; the offer was discontinued thereafter. He is 6.5” tall. By the way, Lord Bentley has a secret; read The Cybis Horses to find out what it is!
Although there were no further unicorn sculptures, Cybis did issue a Unicorn Plaque in 1989 for $150. It is 4” high x 3.25” wide and sold for $200-$300 from Cybis from the mid-1990s onward.
Cybis created only three Pegasus sculptures, and all of them were limited editions.
Like their first unicorn, the first Cybis winged horse was named simply Pegasus and was sculpted by Lynn Brown. Introduced in 1970 and completed in 1976, he was priced at $1450 throughout. He is slightly smaller than the unicorn, at 13.5” high. According to a mid-1970s article in a Louisville newspaper, this piece was originally commissioned by the Pegasus Parade committee as one of the awards presented for the best floats.
Most photographs of this piece completely fail to show that the wings contain areas of shimmery highlights, created by the random application of glaze to small areas on some of the feathers, but this picture has captured them nicely. The same glaze was applied to Pegasus’ hooves as well. The rest of the sculpture is bisque (matte) porcelain.
The other pegasi were all ‘youngsters’. The Pegasus Colt ‘Free Spirit’ by Susan Eaton appeared in 1980 as an edition of 1000 for $675, and is on their 1982 list at $775. The edition was either completed or closed early (more likely) before 1988. He is 9” tall. In 1981 when the Iranian hostages were released, Cybis produced a special run of 52 sculptures described in a newspaper article as being “decorated with yellow ribbons” for presentation to each of the former hostages. Because the standard version shown above does not have ribbons, it’s possible that the small flower bouquet was replaced by a yellow bow, or that the normal rope was replaced by a flat yellow ribbon. I have never seen one of these, but would like to.
There are two ‘rope’ variations of this piece; some have a pale lilac rope with gold stripes, and others have a plain yellow rope. The floral decoration is the same on both.
This is an example with the yellow rope. I was curious about whether one rope color predated the other, so I checked the available online-sales records to see if a pattern emerged re: the sculpture numbers (lower vs. higher per rope color.) Thirty examples were checked; of those, only seven had the yellow rope but it did not depend on the sculpture number. Two of them were below #100, one in the 100s, two in the 300s, one in the 500s and one in the 600s. The lilac/gold rope examples likewise ran the gamut: three below #100, one each in the 100s, 200s, and 400s; two in the 300s and 800s; and three or more in the 500s, 600s, and 700s. (The highest noted number was #870.) So it seems as if the rope color depended only on who was painting a given piece, but why? I could understand if the two versions were both lilac but only one had stripes (a gold paint shortage? lol) but not such two entirely different colors. This may indicate that fewer yellow-rope versions went out the door, but then again it may not; one artist may simply have been trying to use up the yellow paint that was mixed for the Iran-hostage production run! It’s one of those tiny Cybis production mysteries, I suppose.
The final pegasus piece was Pegasus Colts ‘Flight and Fancy’ (similar to the pair of 1970s unicorn colts Gambol and Frolic). This piece is 7” high and was released in 1984 as an edition of 1000 at $975. On their 1988 price list it is $1175, and then $1475 in 1993. The edition was either closed or completed before 1999. Designed by Susan Eaton.
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The Cybis Archive is a continually-updated website that provides the most comprehensive range of information about Cybis within a single source. It is not and never has been part of the Cybis Porcelain studio, which is no longer in business.