In addition to their various child/baby busts, nursery rhyme and fairytale characters, the Cybis studio produced many sculptures within their general category called “Children to Cherish.” They were all non-limited editions. The first three such pieces, all from the 1960s, predated the category concept which was introduced the following decade. On the 1963 price list, the only three children (Springtime, First Flight, and a ballerina) are shown under a category heading “Objects D’Art.”
Sculptures are shown in chronological order by retail release year.
(Note: The “sports” themed child studies appear in their own separate post even though Cybis also included them in the general “children” category.)
Springtime, made from 1963 to 1969, is 5” high and sold for $35-$45 during that period. Two very slightly different colorations appear to exist. The first example (with the darker hair) is the most common although the flower’s color and decoration could vary; I’ve seen them variously as yellow, all-white, white with dark spot on each petal. It may be that the white with blue edge could be the earliest version. However, Springtime’s hair ribbon is always blue.
Rebecca was introduced in 1964 at $64 and retired in 1972 at $110. She is 6.5” high and while not expressly identified other than as “Rebecca”, her photo caption in Cybis’ 1960s catalogs reads “For all little girls who, like the little Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, find happiness in Beauty Days!” This piece, as well as a number of other child studies released during the 1960s and 1970s, was sculpted by Marylin Chorlton.
First Flight is 4.5” high including the base to which it is attached. It was designed by Patricia Eakins who had also worked for Lenox and Boehm. The 1978 and 1979 Cybis catalog Appendix has an error regarding the introduction year of this piece; they show it as 1966 which is incorrect. First Flight appears on the Spring 1963 Cybis price list as “First Flight (kneeling girl with bird)” which means it was introduced either that year or earlier. It sold for $20 during the 1960s and when it was retired in 1973 the price had risen to $50.
First Bouquet was a special Brielle Galleries event piece in the 1970s which sold (if I recall correctly) for $75. Other than the substitution of flowers for the bluebird, and the change of hair ribbon color from blue to orange, it is identical to First Flight.
Pollyanna was produced from 1971–1975, with a retail price of $135–$195 during that time. She is 7” high and was designed by Mildred Cook. The photo above shows the standard retail edition, even though the very first Cybis advertising photo, the black-and-white one shown below, exhibits some differences.
Here she holds the apple in her left hand rather than her right, and the bow is different in that the loops are open and it has “tails” whereas the production version does not. The bench is dark instead of white, and her shoes also appear to be a dark color, at least from this black-and-white photo; perhaps her shoes were dark blue. It is probable that this first photo shoot utilized a prototype or artist’s proof, or perhaps some early ones were made like this.
Elizabeth Ann was introduced in 1976 at $195 and retired before 1982. Measurements are 4” x 4” x 5”. According to the studio’s advertising, she was “a sister to Yankee Doodle, our colonial boy on a broomstick.”
During the next two years (1977 and 1978) Cybis introduced four successive sculptures showing pairs of children at play. These are the only Cybis pieces that show more than one child. None of the child pieces introduced after 1976 were designed by Marylin Chorlton, who died in 1977.
Boys Playing Leapfrog ‘Skipper and Jens’ was a 1977 piece at $265, and was retired before 1982. It is 9.25” high and 6.5” wide.
Boys Playing Marbles ‘Rusty and Jonny’ was another 1977 introduction, at $285. It is 6.5” x 8” wide and was also retired prior to 1982.
Lisa and Lynette from 1978 at $285. Size is 9” high and 11” wide. Another pre-1982 retirement.
This one of a kind piece has converted one of the girls into a boy. Perhaps it would have been called “Leonard and Lynette” or “Lisa and Leonard” if this had ended up being the retail piece! I suppose they decided to make it as two girls because they already had decided to make two other designs as two boys? I personally think the boy-and-girl version is the nicer one.
Nancy and Ned (sledding) was the other 1978 issue. It was the most expensive of the series at $325 and was also retired before 1982. It is 7.25” high and 9.5” wide. I have no idea why the “sledding” was placed in parentheses; was Cybis intending to portray Nancy and Ned in other seasonal sports? The standard retail colorway is shown in the first photo. As for the blue colorway, it may have been done at a collector’s request because it was not marked A.P. and it is unlikely that Cybis would have chosen a piece at this pricepoint or of this complexity for a dealer event piece.
Cybis returned to their normal single-child format in 1979 with Christopher ‘The Sea Listener’ . He was issued at $275 but by 1982 his price had risen to $425. By 1988 he was retired. This piece is 6″ high.
Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair appeared in 1979 at $250; she was retired in 1982 at $525. She is 9.5” high. Shown above is the standard retail version that includes a yellow bird.
The circumstances surrounding this version, with a white butterfly, are unknown; was it a production change that involved only this element? If it was a dealer event piece one would think there would be other changes but the two versions are completely identical except for the bird/butterfly substitution. (I have only seen one of these and so it’s always possible that the butterfly may be an “aftermarket” substitution for a lost bird.) By the way, the 1979 Cybis catalog shows her simply as Jeanie while the 1982 price list has Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair.
Kara (girl on beach) was made for only two years: in 1980 at $285 and 1981 at $375. It is 9.5” high. This is one of only three sculptures that include a dog as a secondary element; the other two are Rumples the Pensive Clown and Eskimo Mother.
Suzanne (girl with kitten) was introduced in 1980 at $325 and was retired between 1982 and 1988. Dimensions are 4.5” high x 9” long. The first photo shows the retail colorway. The second photo shows an artists proof that differs slightly from the retail version and which I think is more attractive because of the subtle and realistic shading. This is the only Cybis piece that ever included a cat as a secondary element.
Drummer Boy ‘Nicky’ is from 1981 and is 5.5” high. In 1982 he sold for $295 but was retired by 1988.
Little Jamie was originally subtitled “(boy with chicks)” when introduced in 1981 but later shorted to just Little Jamie. Height is six inches. In 1982 his retail price was $365. Like Nicky, he too was retired before 1988.
Emily Ann, who is 6” high, appeared after the summer of 1982 but was retired by 1988; she was designed by William Pae. Her price history is not known.
David, Shepherd Boy was a 1983 piece that was retired before 1988. He is 8.5” high and was perhaps based on the Biblical story of the origins of David (of David and Goliath fame.)
Can you spot the design differences in this artist’s proof? The answer is at the bottom of this post.
The Choir Boy was introduced in 1984. A portion of the sale proceeds (but retail price currently unknown; it was not specified in the brochure) was to benefit the American Boychoir School. He is 8.5” high. He was “officially” retired before 1988 but the studio brought him back in the 2000s by offering back-stock on their website for $325.
(The sports-themed figures of the late 1980s are shown in their own post even though the majority of them are children.)
Clarissa, 5.25” high, was introduced in 1986 at $165. This photo shows the standard retail version that continued to be available thereafter for $195.
In 1987 Cybis introduced this variation named Little Heart which retailed for $195 for the three years that she was available. The mold is slightly different in that the flowers on her skirt are replaced by hearts, she has a decorated bodice, and holds a small heart in her right hand. I have only seen one photo of each colorway (pink vs. red) and so have no way of knowing, at this time, which one was the retail version. We shall have to await the discovery of a second one in either colorway to determine this!
Two companion child pieces were introduced in 1986: Bedtime Beth and Bedtime Jody. Both are 5” high. They were priced at $260 each in 1988, and $295 in 1993. During that latter year Cybis offered them as a pair for $500 but discontinued the discounted format shortly afterward.
Daddy’s Little Girl is 11” high and was a 1989 introduction at $625; pieces actually created during that year will have the special 50th Anniversary backstamp. In the introductory brochure the studio said that they would “paint the name of the daddy’s little girl in your family on the bottom of the sculpture, on special orders shipped directly from the studio.” So if any show up for sale on eBay with a name (in addition to ‘Cybis’) on the bottom, that is why. By 1993 her price rose to $750 and then to $895 in 1999.
The following non-limited edition child figures appeared in late 1989 or after. I suspect that these were designed by the same artist who did the “sports children.”
Andy is sometimes shown with the expanded name “(boy reading book)” although that obviously goes without saying. He is 4.75” high and was $275 in 1993. Two different colorways are shown; it’s not known which version was the actual retail one.
Cowboy (little boy) is 8.5” high and was $290 on the same 1993 price list as Andy.
First Bath, companion to First Flight is 5.75” high overall and was $325 on their 1993 price list. Although ridiculously similar to the long-retired First Flight from the late 1960s, this is not cast from the same mold. It is also 1.25” larger than the earlier piece.
Girl with Lamb is 5.5” high and was $295 in 1993, rising to $350 in late 1995.
Girl Picking Daisies ‘Love Me – Love Me Not’ is similarly sized at 5.25” high. Notice the dramatic difference in workmanship between the mold-cast flowers on this piece and those seen on the “Golden Age” 1960s and 1970s pieces such as Rebecca, Springtime, Heidi, etc. I can’t help thinking that these flowers look exactly like fried eggs! This is certainly not one of the Cybis studio’s best offerings, but nevertheless was pegged at $275 in 1993 and $20 more in 1995.
Girl Gathering Flowers with Chipmunk is 11.5” high and was priced at $450 in 1993. (At least the flowers on this one were handmade!)
This clay model of a young girl bust was created during the 1980s by William Pae. This is the only known photo of it. In its completed state it would have been a head/shoulders/hands bust similar in style to the Madonna with Lily or Madonna with Bird, but the studio chose to shelve this project and so this sweet young lady was never produced for retail.
And finally, even though due to lack of any photo I have no idea whether this is a “child” piece or not, I’m going to assume that it might be and include it here. The museum catalog Cybis in Retrospect mentions but does not picture a Shepherdess with Christmas Rose in plain white bisque. The “christmas rose” would have been the perennial Helleborus niger but was she holding a bloom or simply standing next to a plant? This piece was only 5.5″ high but was 18″ long, so there must have been a flock of sheep also in evidence. It was cited as being from 1952.
* Answer to the Shepherd Boy question:
In the artist’s proof, David’s eyes are closed; in the retail version they are open. The outer/side edge of the base is slightly routed instead of being smooth, and no ‘grass/moss’ was added to it.
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