Wedding-themed items were relative latecomers to the Cybis retail lineup, not making their appearance until almost the end of the 1980s, with one exception which is noted under “Wedding Giftware.”
The Wedding Party
The first Cybis bridal sculpture appeared in 1987, named simply Bride and offered in a choice of blonde or brunette for $1500 which rose to $1650 the following year. She was designed by Lynn Klockner Brown. Standing a bit over 12” high, she is a limited edition of 1000 in total – that is, a total of 1000 pieces available regardless of hair color (not 1000 per hair color). Her name was later tweaked to Bride, Commemorative.
The option for a red hair color was added sometime between 1996 and 1999. Notice that the redhead example shown carries a bouquet of yellow orchids instead of the pink ones as in the brunette and blonde versions.
There is a possibility that there may have been a slightly different version of the Bride, and that’s due to some ambiguity in the Cybis literature itself. When first introduced in their Fall/Winter 1987 brochure she was called simply “Bride” but a Spring 1988 price list lists her as “Bride, 50th Anniversary” which is itself confusing because the so-called Golden Anniversary pieces didn’t appear until 1989! Most of the 50th Anniversary pieces were also some form of white/gold colorway which would make no sense for a bridal piece. Things get even more muddled with the appearance of the Groom.
The Bridegroom appears for the first time in the same Spring 1988 price list mentioned above, priced at $1650 and described as “Groom, 50th Anniversary.” He too was by Lynn Brown. Concurrently, the above photo appears in the black-and-white Spring 1988 Introductions brochure, with a caption of “Mate to the 50th Anniversary Bride in the Fall/Winter 1988 Collection.” This is problematic because we don’t know whether the “1988” was a typo for 1987 (which would have been correct) OR whether Cybis planned to introduce an alternate version of the original bride later in 1988. Notice the flower-topped plinth in the photo, an additional element would justify the Bridegroom’s pricing matching that of the more elaborate Bride, as well. He is the same height as the Bride but was never offered in a choice of hair color. The color photo, courtesy of the Museum of American Porcelain Art, might even be the same piece that was used for the 1988 brochure; it was acquired by them at the liquidation auction of the Cybis studio’s backstock.
This Bridegroom is missing his plinth. What I don’t know is whether it got lost in the interim, or whether a production decision was made at some point to discontinue the plinth element.
This black-tuxedo version may have been one of a kind, or an alternate color option. None of the price lists I currently have in my file mention a choice of colors, however. This piece is complete with the plinth.
Oddly, the Groom disappeared from the Cybis lineup sometime before 1993; he is not on their Fall 1993 price list, nor is he on the Fall 1995 one either. He pops up again on a May 1999 price list at $2750 which price point matches the Bride but during the early 2000s he disappears from the Cybis website. A “runaway groom”, indeed!
The Bride and Groom (miniature) is a smaller piece at only 7” high. It is an open edition introduced in 1988 at $675; by 1993 it was $750.
The Flower Girl was also an open edition and is 4.75” high, appearing in 1988 for $275 but retired in the mid 1990s. The introduction brochure put her in the same category (“Miniature Wedding Collection”) as the composite bride/groom piece shown above. This is the sculpture that was later reworked into the Little Princess that was made available to the Cybis Collectors Society members in the late 1990s.
Ring Bearer is likewise 4.75” high and was an open edition from 1988 at $250 and also retired, along with the Flower Girl, in the mid 1990s. He too was originally grouped into the “mini wedding” series. (Would he have eventually have morphed into a “Little Prince” if the Collectors Society had continued?)
The 1988 price list shows this piece (which is actually the 1987 Young Rose open edition in a different color dress) as Bridesmaid, priced at $325. She still shows up in the “Wedding” category on the 1989 list, but now listed there as Young Rose instead of Bridesmaid. By the time the 1993 price list came out, all versions of this piece had been discontinued. (Young Rose can be seen in two other colorways in the Pink and Blue post.)
Another bride sculpture in a smaller size and open edition is Here Comes the Bride which is 7.5” high. Introduced in 1990, she has an interesting hair-color history. On the 1993 and 1995/96 price lists she is simply listed by name, with no mention of hair color, at $295. Then starting with the May 1999 list she can be had in a choice of blonde, brunette, or red hair (same price) just like the larger limited-edition Bride. But on the circa-2000s website, being a blonde costs more: $495, as compared to $395 for either a brunette or redhead. Very strange indeed!
This is an artist’s proof/test piece of a bride with long hair that was never released for retail sale although it did receive a design number (4082.) It is probably the same size as Here Comes the Bride. [photo courtesy of the Museum of American Porcelain Art.]
The one exception to the not-until-the-1980s rule is the Wedding Bell which was made in white bisque and in color from the 1950s to the early 1960s. It was 3.5” high and sold for $10 and $15 respectively. It is on the 1963 price list but disappears before 1967. After the retirement of this bell there were no wedding items of any kind offered by Cybis until the late 1980s.
The Bridal Centerpiece was introduced in 1987 as part of the debut of Cybis’ wedding collection and was designed by Lynn Klockner Brown. (The uppermost dove had appeared in 1986 with its wings in a more upright position as the open edition Dove shown in Later Birds.) The early 1988 price list shows the Centerpiece retailing for $425. It is 8.5″ high which means it can also be used as a cake topper. At some point the gold-accented version was added. All of the wedding giftware items were nonlimited editions.
The Wedding Heart Box was originally named the Romance Heart Box with Rings when introduced in 1987 for $275 but retired before 1993. It is the same as the Romance Heart Box shown in Giftware, but in a different colorway and with the rose replaced by a pair of wedding bands. It is 2.5” high and 5” wide.
This White Vase with Doves sold for $95 and was originally titled as the White Wedding Vase with Doves. It was also made in black for a short time in the late 1980s; that version is shown in the Vases post. It is 6.5” high.
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