In addition to their nativity sets and ornaments Cybis produced some child figurals known as the Holiday Children. Although made from only two basic molds they have been offered as various issues at different times. They were all non-limited editions, 5.25” high.
The first was the 1980 Holiday Child who is looking down into a green Christmas stocking decorated with holly and berries and the word “Noel” across the top. A panda bear leans against the child’s left leg. This piece was priced at $235 at introduction. For the sake of clarity, because there ended up being so many variations of the children, I’m going to expand its title to 1980 Holiday Child with Green Noel Stocking and Panda Bear. This sculpture was available for purchase only during 1980.
The second was the 1981 Holiday Child who has a teddy bear and a stocking decorated with a bow and holiday candies. This is the photo in Cybis’ 1982 catalog. Although the stocking colors look pastel here, I have seen one of these for sale with a bright red bow and darker green accents. My expanded name for this would be 1981 Holiday Child with Bow Stocking and Teddy Bear.
The third (as far as I know at this time) was the 1983 Holiday Child, looking upward while holding a white stocking decorated with a candycane. Just below the candycane is the year 1983 in blue. (The 1980 and 1981 stockings do not have a year on them.) A clown doll leans against the child’s right leg. I believe this piece was $245 at introduction. My expanded name for this one is 1983 Holiday Child with Candycane Stocking and Clown Doll.
This photo shows the 1980 and 1983 Holiday Children together. None of them appear on the 1988 Cybis price list, further confirming that they all had been retired after their single issue year.
There were no further Holiday Children until the 1990s, which coincided with the Cybis studio deciding to sell pieces directly to the public for the first time. They used the same molds as the 1980s duo but with slight alterations to the decorations and names, and produced four iterations. Unfortunately I have only been able to locate a photograph of one of them; it appeared on the 2008 Cybis website.
The first two ‘new’ holiday children appeared sometime between Spring 1990 and Autumn 1993, according to the Cybis price list in November of that year.
The Holiday Boy with Noel Stocking and Clown Doll was priced at $495. I am going to guess that the mold here was the “looking down” one. The stocking must be the same as was used on the 1980 Holiday Child, and the clown doll taken from the 1983 Holiday Child. This piece was retired before November 1995.
The other early-1990s piece was named Holiday Girl with Bow Stocking and Panda. My guess is that this is the “looking up” child mold. She appears on the same autumn 1993 list and at the same price of $495. The Panda was taken from the 1980 Holiday Child, and the bow stocking from the 1981 Holiday Child. This child too was retired before November 1995.
Moving forward to the Fall 1995 price list from Cybis, we find two new arrivals — one of which I do have a photo of — indicating that they were introduced in either 1994 (spring or fall) or in Spring 1995.
This is the Holiday Boy with Noel Stocking and Panda, priced at $495. Now that Cybis has assigned genders to the holiday children, I’m going to assume that the looking-down one represents the boy. This is identical to the retired 1980 Holiday Child in every respect except that the background of the stocking is white instead of green. This piece continued to be available from Cybis thereafter. (The photo may actually have been scanned from a piece of 1980 literature and so I take its accuracy with a grain of salt. Cybis did not take any new photos for their website.)
The other piece on that list is the Holiday Girl with Bow Stocking and Clown Doll; same price of $495. I do not have a photo of this one but assume that she is identical to the 1983 Holiday Child (looking up) except with a “new” stocking. This piece also continued to be sold from Cybis into the 2000s.
A quick chronology of the seven known (to date) Holiday Children from Cybis thus becomes:
1980 Holiday Child (looking down, with Green Noel Stocking and Panda Bear)
1981 Holiday Child (looking down, with Bow Stocking and Teddy Bear)
1983 Holiday Child (looking up, with Candycane Stocking and Clown Doll)
1990-1993 Holiday Boy with Noel Stocking and Clown Doll (probably looking down)
1990-1993 Holiday Girl with Bow Stocking and Panda (probably looking up)
1994/95 Holiday Boy with Noel Stocking and Panda (looking down)
1994/95 Holiday Girl with Bow Stocking and Clown Doll (probably looking up)
If anyone happens to have any of the ones shown in italics on this list (or the 1982 Holiday Child if indeed there was one) I would love to see a picture and include it here. Unless the stockings are marked with a year (which I very much doubt) the copyright year on the bottom of the piece (if any) will not be of help because they all should be from the 1980s; the description is the only way to identify the 1990s pieces. There is a direct-contact form at the bottom of the About the Archive page.
Other Christmas/holiday themed Cybis pieces included the first and second nativity sets, the 12 Days of Christmas ornament series, the holiday versions of the child heads Funny Face and Valentine, various other ornaments and bells, and a plethora of “…with holly”-decorated rabbits and bears.
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