The Cybis Carousel Animals

In addition to their carousel horses Cybis also created a menagerie of other carousel animals in porcelain. There were two very different series: the full-size collection spanning the mid-1970s through the early 2000s, and the small Carousel II series introduced in the late 1980s. Unlike the Hall of Fame editions, however, the second series was not merely a downsized replica of the first.

All of the full-size carousel pieces were sculpted by Susan Eaton except for the final three animals, as noted.

CAROUSEL GOAT by CybisThe Carousel Goat was one of the two introductory carousel pieces in 1973; the other, the Carousel Horse, can be seen here. It is 12” high overall, with the porcelain itself being 9.75”. The declared edition was 500 but the edition size was later reduced to only 325; it was completed in Spring 1980. The original issue price was $875, and closed at $925. Interestingly, although it was not released until 1973 the copyright-year mold impression may be 1969; one example, #391, sold online with an accompanying photo of the sculpture number and mold mark. During the 1960s several other Cybis pieces were registered with the US Copyright Office a few years before their actual retail introduction, so the discrepancy in dates is not without precedent.


CAROUSEL LION by CybisThe following year (1974) saw two new introductions, one of which was the Carousel Lion. Like the Goat and Horse, the original edition size of 500 was later reduced to 325; it was completed in 1983. It is 12” high overall, the porcelain is 8.75” high, and the issue price was $1025.


CAROUSEL TIGER by CybisThe Carousel Tiger was the other 1974 introduction, standing 12” high with the tiger at 5.5”. Priced at $925 initially, the 500-piece edition was likewise reduced to 325. Like the Lion, the issue was completed in 1983. The wood bases used for all of the classic carousel animals was 12” long x 3” wide.

In 1975 only one carousel figure was introduced: the Bicentennial Carousel Horse ‘Ticonderoga, seen here. Like the previous carousel figures, it was originally set at a 500-pc limit which was then reduced to 350; the edition was filled quickly and so this piece was made only for three years (1975, 1976 and 1977)


CAROUSEL BULL PLUTUS by Cybiscarousel-bull-plutus-detailAfter 1975 there was a break in the introduction of new carousel pieces until 1981, when three new carousel pieces were introduced. This one is Carousel Bull ‘Plutus’ who is 10” high (porcelain) and 12” high overall. Again we see Cybis shooting for an edition of 500 but later cutting it down to 325. The original price was $1125 and the edition was completed in 1984. The designer was Susan Eaton who did most of the carousel horses.


CAROUSEL BEAR BERNHARD by CybisCarousel Bear ‘Bernhard’ was the second 1981 design, also by Susan Eaton; issue size 500 to 325, and issue price $1125. His edition too was completed in 1984. Again its overall height is 12” but Bernard himself is only 5.75”. The carousel poles are 10.25” high from the top of the wood base to the top of the pole.

The third carousel figure for 1981 was Carousel Pony ‘Sugarplum’, seen with the carousel equines.


CAROUSEL GIRAFFE CUTHBERT by Cybiscarousel-giraffe-detailIn 1982 Cybis altered the edition sizes for their new carousel sculptures. Carousel Giraffe ‘Sir Cuthbert’ had a declared edition of 750, at $1150. A decade later (1993) his price had jumped to $2275 and went even higher, topping $3000k during the late 1990s. Despite the declining market Cybis inexplicably kept his advertised edition at 750 without reduction and so it’s certain that nowhere near the intended amount were actually made. Cuthbert is taller than any of the other carousel pieces but only because being a giraffe, his head is higher than the top of the pole! Overall height is 14.75”; Cuthbert himself is 12.5” tall.

The next four carousel pieces released were equines that can be seen in The Carousel Horses.

CAROUSEL ELEPHANT JUMBO by CybisThe next non-equine animal was Carousel Elephant ‘Jumbo’ from 1988. Like Sir Cuthbert, his edition size is 750 and Cybis stubbornly refused to reduce is despite declining demand. Jumbo’s designer is unknown but it was not Susan Eaton. He is 12.5” high to the top of his trunk, and his original issue price was $1850. By 1993 it was $2150 and after that, it tracked fairly close to that of his tall buddy Cuthbert.

Because 1989 was the Golden Anniversary year for Cybis, their carousel figure was the elaborate Golden Thunder. Seen here, his decoration includes head-shots of all the prior Cybis carousel animals.


CAROUSEL BUFFALO by CybisAfter 1989 there was another hiatus which was broken in 1994 by the Carousel Buffalo. This was a declared (but certainly never completed) edition of 750 and is 12” high overall. Designer is unknown but it was not Susan Eaton. His initial price was $2750 and stayed within a couple hundred dollars of that.


The final piece in the full-size Cybis carousel series was the Carousel Reindeer, introduced in late 2008 – fourteen years after the Buffalo. Its designer is unknown (not Susan Eaton) but the style resembles Jumbo. Matching the 12” height of the other pieces, the edition of 750 was offered at $2995. Probably very few were made; this is the only one I have ever seen for sale, and it is #20.

The Carousel II Collection

The “Carousel II Collection” was an open (non-limited) series that contained only five animals: a pony, a bear, a bull, a llama, and a tiger. They were introduced in 1988 and 1989, so some should bear the special 50th Anniversary stamp. All of the animals are 7” high; they were originally priced at $675. The designer of the set is unknown.

CAROUSEL II LLAMA by CybisThe Carousel II Llama was introduced in 1988.

These photos show how the Carousel II animals were created in three pieces: the main sculpture, a porcelain support-base, and a porcelain pole. Thus the animal could be displayed as a non-carousel item (if one disregarded the hole in the saddle, of course!) Another unusual aspect of this set is that each animal came with a green velvet ‘storage bag’ which forms the background of the pictures shown above. This is the only known instance of Cybis supplying such a bag with any of their items and one wonders why they did so.

CAROUSEL II BEAR by CybisCAROUSEL II BULL by CybisCAROUSEL II PONY by CybisCAROUSEL II TIGER by CybisThe other four pieces are the Carousel II Bear, Carousel II Bull, Carousel II Pony, and Carousel II Tiger.  By 1993 the pieces were $750 each, except the Tiger which for some reason was $100 more.

The pieces were designed so as to fit onto the Carousella, as shown above. The Carousella itself is 12” high and 15” in diameter. It too was a non-limited edition, and was priced at $975 initially but was raised to $1475 by 1993. The animals are held in place by inserting the bottom of each pole through the gold-gilt “loop”at the end of each wing extending outward from the center, and then into the hole in the top of the animal’s saddle. A second, larger hole in the belly accommodates the top of the base piece. The Carousella is stationary (does not rotate.)

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