During the ‘golden age’ of the Cybis studio’s production (1960s and 1970s) their pieces were regularly chosen to be official Gifts of State from our country to foreign dignitaries. Presidents Nixon and Ford were particularly fond of doing so, in fact, but in reality that process doesn’t begin in the Oval Office. So where does it start?
It starts and mostly remains within the US Department of State. According to their website,
The Protocol Gift Unit …. is responsible for the creation and maintenance of the official record of all gifts presented by the Department of State to officials of foreign governments. Working closely with the Chief of Protocol and the staffs of the President, the Vice President, and the Secretary of State, the Gift Unit selects the gifts presented to foreign dignitaries.
A more detailed insight is provided by a New York Times article published in February 1984, disclosing that
..a host of State Department officials, American and foreign embassy personnel, and even a special gifts officer, work behind the scenes to prepare what they hope will be the perfect gift. Weeks before a foreign dignitary arrives in Washington, the Protocol Department’s gifts officer consults with experts from the State Department and embassy staffs, both here and abroad, on customs and taboos of the leader’s country, as well as the leader’s interests and hobbies.
Clearly it’s not quite as simple as logging on to Amazon or popping in to the local HomeGoods store. The first (and written in stone) criteria is that all gifts presented on behalf of the USA must be made in America. So that eliminates such elegances as Waterford crystal and Buccellati silver right from the start. When it came to art porcelain sculptures there were only two USA names to choose from: Boehm and Cybis. Often such pieces had the Presidential Seal added either to the sculpture (if it was mounted on a base) or to a presentation case that was specially made for that gift.
This 1976 de-classified memo sent from the Protocol Unit is a typical example of the recommendations that would be sent to the sitting President and/or First Lady whenever a diplomatic trip, visit, or international ‘event’ was coming up in the near future. For an extended foreign trip, such memos were longer and contained recommendations for specific gifts to be brought and presented to the various heads of state and government officials that the POTUS and FLOTUS were scheduled to encounter.
There would also be an annual “gift display” set up at Blair House each year for the President and First Lady to view the various objects that American manufacturers would send for possible consideration as official gifts. These definitely took place during the 1970s, although I’ve been unable to determine whether the practice has continued. The State Department is…well, let’s just say they are difficult to get a response from, even before the COVID-19 era of shutdowns and short-staffing.
This is the Presidential Seal medallion that Cybis affixed to the wood-base Gift of State items that they supplied. This one happens to be on an Eros bust.
This is a 1975 press photo issued by the studio, showing three sculptures prepared to be used as gifts of state: Rapunzel, the Magnolia, and Eros. The normal retail editions of Rapunzel and the Magnolia did not have a base, although Eros did.
The following Cybis pieces are known to have been given as Presidential gifts of state to foreign dignitaries, either when the POTUS traveled or when the dignitary visited the USA. They are arranged chronologically by presidential administration.
Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
Bull ‘God of the Thunderbolt’ was given to the President-elect of Mexico on November 12, 1964. The president’s daily diary reads:
Returned to the LBJ ranch [at 7:01 pm] The President and Mrs. Johnson sat in the den visiting w/President-elect Diaz Ordaz with the aid of an interpreter. At 7:30 they were joined by Mrs. Diaz Ordaz and her interpreter and they had a gift presentation in the living room. President Johnson gave to President-elect Diaz Ordaz: Porcelain – Kneeling bull entitled ‘God of the Thunderbolt’ by Cybis — American artist — with gold plaque of presentation.
Other accounts mention that a Cybis Condesa Rose was also presented to Mexico’s new First Lady, although it’s not known which of the two colorways (pink or yellow) was chosen.
When the 21-year-old Princess Christina of Sweden visited the United States in June 1965 she was presented with Ballerina ‘On Cue’.
President Johnson’s diary entry on September 16, 1965 mentions a visit with the Ambassador of Iran, Dr. Khosrow Khosrovani, to whom Johnson gave
A limited edition sculpture from Cybis Procelains [sic] of Trenton, NJ, executing the sculpture of a horse by Laszlo Ispanky, “Unfettered and Free”
This is the piece known simply as Horse in Cybis advertising.
The one of a kind enthroned Saint Peter, designed by Laszlo Ispanky, was commissioned for presentation to Pope Paul VI. Although the public presentation was made at the United Nations in October 1965, the sculpture was actually later delivered to him personally at the Vatican by Cybis directors Marylin and Joseph Chorlton. More information about this sculpture and its story can be found in Religious Sculptures.
The Iris was given to HRH Prince Philip on the occasion of his visit to New York in March 1966. It is not known which colorway (lavender or yellow) was chosen.
There is also a somewhat conflicting account of the gift of the Thoroughbred to South Korean President Park Chung Hee at the end of October in 1966. Cybis in Retrospect, published in 1971, is of little help because it mentions only that “various porcelains” were brought by Pres. Johnson to “the Manila Conference in October 1966” but does not specify which ones. The January 3, 1982 issue of the San Bernardino County Sun includes this in a staff writer article about the Cybis studio:
It was 1 a.m. on a Sunday morning in 1966, for example, when the telephone rang at the seaside home of Joseph Chorlton, head of Cybis Porcelain Studio in New Jersey. A voice explained, with apologies, that President Lyndon Johnson was leaving for the Manila Summit Conference on Monday morning and that, through an oversight, no state gift had been prepared for President Park Chung Hee of South Korea. It was the Year of the Horse. Did Cybis have available any porcelain horse sculptures, preferably brown, to match President Park’s favorite steed? Of course it did. Chorlton and his wife Marylin, an artist, climbed out of bed and drove…to their studio in Trenton. By noon, Marylin had turned a white sculpture into a horse of the right color and put it into the kiln to fire overnight. Early Monday morning the two drove with the 16-inch-high horse to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, attaching its wooden pedestal along the way.
Luckily, several of the Daily Diaries of some of our presidents are now accessible online and so I paged through the record of that 1966 South Korea visit in order to confirm the presentation of the sculpture to President Park….but without success. It may be that the gift changed hands via one of the staff members instead of being done in the presence of the POTUS, however.
Richard M. Nixon (1969-August 1974)
Not quite a gift of state but still a Presidential one was a special version of the Cybis ‘Columbia’ which was presented to the Apollo 11 astronauts to commemorate the July 1969 moon landing. Cybis literature sources differ slightly as to what the name of the special version was and how many were made. Cybis in Retrospect (1971) calls it Columbia and the Eagle and says there was one for each astronaut plus one for the White House itself; what happened to that one after Richard Nixon left office is not known. As shown above, the special versions have a round NASA insignia added in front of the standard sun-ray shield upon which Columbia’s hand rests. The retail edition, which was unusual in several ways, appears in the Born in the USA post.
After the Cybis North American Indians series was introduced in 1969 they quickly became favorites as official gifts of state. The first one was Dakota ‘Laughing Water’ Minnehaha which was given by President Nixon to Mexico in August 1970.
The special Cybis Chess Set was presented by Nixon to Soviet Premier Brezhnev during the historic Moscow Summit held from May 22-30, 1972. A detailed look at this set, and its later commemorative retail issue, is given in its own post.
The Sleeping Beauty ballet figures, The Enamored Prince Florimund and The Enchanted Princess Aurora, were an additional Cybis gift during that trip, from President and Mrs. Nixon to the Bolshoi Ballet, where they were put on permanent display. A coincidence is that the same freelance artist (Harry Burger) who had designed the Chess Set years earlier also designed this pair for Cybis!
A separate gift, this time to the Bolshoi Choreography School, was Little Princess. This is an open edition which had already been retired.
Even the Russian Circus received a Cybis memento from the Nixons: the George Ivers Limnette entitled Country Fair. These three additional gifts were reported in the July 15, 1973 issue of the Shreveport, Louisiana Times in conjunction with their coverage of a large Cybis exhibit there by the Norton Art Gallery.
After the conclusion of the Summit, President and Mrs. Nixon traveled to Iran and presented the Ispanky-designed Horse to the Shah of Iran on May 31-June 1, 1972. This is the same piece that President Johnson had given to the Iranian Ambassador in September 1965. (The example shown above is missing the wood base that originally came with it.)
The President and First Lady continued their trip and gave two original Boleslaw Cybis Folio One drawings (the 1930s originals, not the 1970 lithographs) to the People of Poland; one of them, Shoshone ‘Silent Thoughts’, is shown above in its custom made presentation case. The other drawing was the Comanche ‘Indomitable Spirit.’
The next Cybis gift of state by the Nixon administration was the massive Charging Buffaloes trio at the end of May 1973, to Iceland to commemorate that country’s upcoming anniversary celebration. Various print sources differ as to what “birthday” it actually was. For example, the 1979 Cybis catalog says it was for Iceland’s 1200th anniversary; another print source says it was the 1100th; and yet another cited it as the 2000th. I suppose it all depends on what point one chooses as the starting date, so the best I can do is to link to Wiki’s page on Iceland’s history!
Although not given by the POTUS himself, several Cybis sculptures went to China. In April 1973 the two leaders of the US Senate, Democrat Mike Mansfield and Republican Hugh Scott, conducted a two week visit with Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and Premier Chou En-Lai. The Chinese leaders were presented with four of the North American Indians: Hiawatha, Minnehaha, Sacajawea, and the Beaverhead Medicine Man.
Soviet Premier Brezhnev was given another Cybis study later that year (1973) when At the Council Fire was gifted at the second Summit meeting in Washington D.C. in June… less than two months before Nixon’s resignation.
Gerald Ford (1974-1977)
The first mention of a Ford-administration Cybis gift occurs on October 8, 1974, when Poland’s First Minister Edward Gierek and his wife visited Washington, D.C.
First Lady Betty Ford’s gift to Mrs. Gierek was this special sculpture which is now the subject of its own Archive post, after having been unidentified for decades. The photo above was taken at the studio during the sculpture’s final stages. All indications point to the subject being Eve with Cain and Abel.
At the Council Fire was obviously a popular choice for State gifts; a few weeks later, President Ford gave one to South Korean President Park. The reports of this gift mention that the sculpture was “mounted on a walnut base, with a walnut presentation case.” This was typical for the major gift pieces of Cybis. The case and/or the base would be adorned with an enameled Presidential Seal.From South Korea the President and First Lady proceeded to Japan, where on November 19th they presented Crown Prince Hirohito and Crown Princess Tanaka with an American White Buffalo which was likewise on a base and in a walnut presentation case.
A few days later, the Eskimo Mother ‘Alea’ was supposedly presented by Mr. Ford to Mr. Brehznev in Vladivostok (Nov. 23-24, 1974) but this is not mentioned in the President’s Daily Diary of that trip, although it appeared in contemporary news media reporting.
President and Mrs. Ford took quite a few Cybis pieces for their European trip from May 28th to June 3rd, 1975. In Austria, President Kirchschlaeger received a Unicorn and his wife received an Eve . Mrs. Ford gave an Eros to the wife of Polish Chancellor Kreisky, and the Mayor of Vienna received a Magnolia.
Prime Minister Tindemans of Belgium received an Indian Boy Head ‘Little Eagle’, while a Magnolia went to the wife of Foreign Minister vanElslande. Another Magnolia went to Madame Broz, the wife of the Yugoslavian President. In Romania, Betty Ford gave the wife of then-President Ceausescu an Eve; this was the last known use of it as an official Gift of State. Queen Esther was given to retired (but soon to return) Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, and Mrs. Anwar Sadat (wife of the Egyptian Prime Minister) received Eros.
Another Eros went to the wife of Italian president Giovanni Leone, even though the Protocol Gift Unit had suggested the Eskimo Child bust for this gift. Mrs. Ford gave the Indian Girl Head ‘Running Deer’ to the wife of Prime Minister Aldo Moro.
In Spain, President Ford gave a George Washington Bust to Prime Minister Carlos Arias Navarro, while Mrs. Ford gave a Magnolia to the wife of Generalissimo Francisco Franco and an Eros to Prince Juan Carlos (who would become King Juan Carlos I only six months later, upon the death of Franco.)
During a trip to China with Secretary of State Henry Kissenger, a Great White Heron was given to Chu Te, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress; Madame Chiang Ch’ing, wife of Mao Tse Tung, received a Snow Crocus that was 9″ high and 10″ long (my guess is that it was a white version of the Dutch Crocus) and Mrs. Ford gave a (you guessed it) Magnolia to Madame Chang Han-chih.
In December 1975 President and Mrs. Ford presented a Windflower to First Lady Siti Hartineh, wife of Indonesian President Suharto. This gift was originally mistakenly reported by the New York Times as having been a Boehm sculpture but the newspaper later published a correction. It’s not known which colorway of this piece was the gift of state.
The Colonial Flower Basket, containing the state flower of each of the thirteen original colonies, was given to Queen Elizabeth II in 1976 during her American Bicentennial visit. This basket was also sent in June as a wedding gift to Princess Salote Mafile’o Pilolevu, daughter of the King of Tonga.
When Liberian president William Tolbert Jr. and his wife made a state visit to Washington D.C. on September 21, 1976, Mrs. Ford presented Mrs. Tolbert with a Rose Jar.
Gift Unit documents show that in December 1976, in connection with the marriage of the Crown Prince of Thailand, a “Wedding gift from President and Mrs. Ford should arrive by [diplomatic] pouch no later than Friday, December 17th. The gift is a Cybis limited edition porcelain sculpture entitled ‘Dogwood and Mountain Laurel’ in Presidential gift wrap, with the Presidential Seal and a gift card enclosed.” This is a very intriguing entry because there was no such named Cybis sculpture as Dogwood and Mountain Laurel. There were several open-edition dogwood subjects (most a variation of the Wood Wren with Dogwood) plus a late-1980s open edition called Mountain Laurel with Butterfly, but none fit this description. If “Dogwood and Mountain Laurel” was one of a kind, it’s a shame there is no photo of it.
There are a few murky gift-dates during the Ford administration. For example, a newspaper clipping reported that “Four of the Cybis Indian sculptures were the choice of the United States Senate for presentation to the Chinese during the epic-making [sic] mission marking the reopening of trade relations with that country.” Supposedly the four Cybis pieces were given to Chou-En Lai and Mao-Tse Tung. Based on their retail introduction dates, they were probably the Blackfeet Medicine Man, Minnehaha, Hiawatha, and either Sacajawea or At the Council Fire. This probably took place in the mid 1970s during which years both Ford and Carter increased relations with China, leading up to full diplomatic relations being restored in 1979.
At least three other Cybis presentations (not by the president or the State Department) took place during the Ford administration.
In April 1976, the Washington News Photographers Association presented an Abigail Adams to First Lady Betty Ford during their annual dinner. During this same event, the Association also had a Great Horned Owl ‘KooKoosKoos’ for Mr. Ford but he was unable to attend and so Mrs. Ford accepted it on his behalf. Both sculptures were housed in a walnut presentation case.
On July 23, 1976, Governor Brendan Byrne presented an Abigail Adams to Queen Elizabeth II when she visited New Jersey.
This Elephant was given to President Ford when he left office in January 1977; read more about its backstory in this post. My thanks to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the above photo and for their help in my research!
The Ford Library also contains this Ticonderoga, which was originally intended to be presented as a Gift of State from the president to a foreign dignitary. The planned occasion did not take place, and the sculpture was given to the Library instead.
Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
The first official record of a Cybis gift during the Carter years is the impressive Great Horned Owl ‘KoosKoosKoos’ at the very end of December 1977. It was probably the white version shown above (rather than the brown, shown in Cybis Owls) because a contemporary newspaper article reports that
One such item among the three trunkloads of gifts accompanying Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter is a 19-inch tall unglazed bisque porcelain owl. “We’re indeed flattered,” said Cybis president Joseph Chorlton of Carter’s decision to present the owl to the people of Poland for exhibition in the Royal Palace of Warsaw.
State Department records indicate that this owl was #1 of the edition, that it was on a walnut base bearing the Presidential seal, and that it was presented on December 30th by Ambassador and Chief of Protocol Evan Dobelle. This is undoubtedly the owl that was referenced in a Trenton Times photo caption on January 3, 1978, saying that it was given “to Polish leader Edward Gierek”, although it also incorrectly said it was presented by President Carter himself. According to Wikipedia, Gierek was “a Polish communist politician and de factor leader of Poland between 1970 and 1980.”
In January 1978, a George Washington Bust was sent as an inaugural gift to the new president of Sri Lanka, J.R. Jayawardene.
A Cybis piece with a very long history is the Madonna ‘House of Gold’ which dates back to 1957 under the Cybis name and even earlier as a Cordey. One of them was given to Pope John Paul II at his inauguration at the Vatican in October 1978. This sculpture was produced by Cybis from 1957 until 1965, and the 50s examples did vary in color and decoration; see the Early Madonnas post for several versions. I’ve chosen a photo of this version because it a 1978 newspaper account described the sculpture presented to the Pope has having “a gold crown and gold base.”
A Blush Orchid was presented to Khunying Virat, wife of the prime minister of Thailand, when that couple visited Washington D.C. in February 1979. It was suggested by the Protocol Unit because of her interest in growing orchids.
The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT II) signing in 1979 was the occasion for the presentation of the Turtle Doves ‘Doves of Peace’ to Leonid Brezhnev. Despite the ceremony, the treaty itself was never put into force because it was replaced by the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in 1991. There’s no indication that a second Cybis was part of that event, however. This sculpture was originally created by Marylin Chorlton.
The upper dove in the actual Gift of State offers a sprig of olive leaves in his beak; that element is not part of the retail edition of the sculpture
The yellow Condesa Rose was a gift to Queen Sophia of Spain during a Presidential visit in late June 1980.
America’s official wedding gift to Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 was the Eskimo Mother ‘Alea’ shown in the Ford section above.
Pope John Paul’s final visit to the USA took place in 1979. Although I could find no record of a Cybis being given to him by President Carter, the Pope did receive three of them from other official sources.
Noah was presented to the Pope in Philadelphia.
An artist’s proof of The Bride was a gift from Governor Brendan Byrne of New Jersey. The history and more views of this sculpture can be seen in its own post.
And while the Pope was in Washington, D.C. the Knights of Columbus presented him with this one of a kind Infant of Prague Plaque. (The subsequent retail edition can be seen here; it differs only in the framing.)
Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
President Reagan gave an American Bald Eagle to Indonesian president Suharto in October 1982. He gave another to the president of Kenya, Daniel arap Moi, in March 1987.
Reagan himself was presented with a Cybis Elephant, painted grey rather than white, in December 1982.
When Queen Elizabeth visited California in 1983, she was given a Mother Bear and Three Cubs as the official gift from that state’s people. Joseph Chorlton delivered it to Sacramento personally.
Egyptian Ambassador Ashraf Gorbal received a Nefertiti during a 1981 festival in Memphis, Tennessee, honoring Egypt.
Miscellaneous or Unconfirmed Presentations
A Cybis official gift that was not given by a USA representative was the Cree ‘Magic Boy’ given to Queen Elizabeth during her 1970 Canadian Centennial tour.
The heavily-tarnished silver plaque on the base reads: Presented to Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of her visit to Manitoba to mark the Province’s Centennial Year 1970 by the People and Government of Manitoba. The designer of this piece was Helen Granger Young, a native of Manitoba. (The above is a good example of why it is always better to use brass or bronze for such plaques, rather than any form of silver.)
Almost fifteen years later, the Queen’s 1984 Royal Tour of Canada included another stop in Winnipeg, where she was presented with a Sioux ‘Wankan Tanka’ on behalf of the people of Manitoba. This particular piece was signed by its designer, Helen Granger Young, who had actually created it six years before the Cybis studio first obtained the rights to produce it in porcelain.
A Thoroughbred given to South Korea, either by President Ford (Nov. 22-23, 1974) or Carter (June 29-July 1, 1979.) However, this report would seem to contradict the supposed Gift Unit rule that no duplicate gifts should be given to the same recipient.
Lady Bird Johnson received an Indian Girl ‘Running Deer’ when she was named the 1979 Woman of the Year by the women’s division of the USO.
Moses ended up in the Vatican but we have no idea when or under what circumstances.
Eros was a gift to Mother Theresa but there’s no indication of when, where, or by whom.
This undated photo shows Ambassador Clare Booth Luce receiving an Abigail Adams from Joseph Chorlton on behalf of the USO.
China received a Windflower at some point but the colorway and occasion are unknown.
A newspaper clipping dated June 8, 1980, reported that a Queen Titania was presented to First Lady Rosalyn Carter by New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne when she visited that state.
When Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands visited the USA in June 1982, she was given an Abigail Adams by New Jersey governor Keane. John Adams was the first ambassador from the USA to The Netherlands, before he became our second president. Queen was here to mark the 200th anniv of relations between the USA and the Netherlands.
Illinois governor James Thompson presented a Wankan Tanka to the visiting King Carl Gustaf of Sweden in 1988.
In an odd turn of events, Sacajawea was a gift to the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1981 to celebrate the birth of Prince William, but not from the USA; we sent a child-sized mahogany reproduction of a Chippendale chair, made by a North Carolina furniture company. But the Cybis present caused a bit of a stir in the Canadian Parliament when House member Howard Crosby of Halifax questioned Secretary of State Serge Joyal about the it:
Q. Was the sculpture given to the Prince and Princess of Wales as Canada’s official gift commemorating the birth of their child?
Q. What is the connection between the sculpture and Canada or any person or place within Canada?
A. The sculpture in question was given to Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales by the Province of Manitoba to commemorate the birth of their son.
Q. Did the Government not provide a gift that had some real connection with Canada and that would benefit Canadian artists or craftsmen and the Canadian arts and crafts industry and, if not, for what reason?
A. The Government of Canada did not provide an official gift on behalf of the Canadian people to commemorate the birth of the son of the Prince and Princess of Wales because it is Canadian custom that official gifts are not given on behalf of the Canadian people to mark such events.
I have no idea why Canada (the nation) doesn’t give celebratory gifts to the British royal family but its provinces are allowed to do so; maybe a Canadian reader can explain it?
The Case of the Phantom Pegasus
Thanks to WikiLeaks we can end with a tale of a typical bureaucratic snafu, this one occurring in early 1974 when the Nixon administration chose Pegasus as our gift sent to Grenada “as a symbol of a new nation trying its wings.” A lovely sentiment but as the following State Department cables show, one that was doomed from the start by Murphy’s Law.
From US Embassy Barbados to US Dept of State, Feb 8, 1974:
INDEPENDENCE GIFT TO GRENADA ARRIVED WITH BROKEN WING TIP AND PRESENTATION WAS NOT MADE. PLEASE ADVISE DISPOSITION OF DAMAGED GIFT AND IF REPLACEMENT CAN BE MADE IMMEDIATELY.
Reply from State Dept, Feb 27 1974:
PLEASE SEND CAREFULLY REWRAPPED PORCELAIN FIGURE ON APPROPRIATE RETURN FLIGHT TO J.F. KENNEDY AIRPORT NEW YORK MARKED FOR DELIVERY TO MR. JOSEPH CHAROLTON, [sic] CYBIS, INC. 65 NORMAN AVENUE, NEW JERSEY 08618. PLEASE INSURE FOR A THOUSAND DOLLARS. CYBIS PREPARING REPLACEMENT NOW. AS SOON AS READY IT WILL BE FORWARDED TO YOU FOR APPROPRIATE PRESENTATION. WILL NOTIFY YOU PRIOR TO SHIPMENT.
Followup from Embassy in Barbados to State Dept, May 10th 1974:
PLEASE ADVISE WHEN POST MAY EXPECT RETURN OF GRENADA INDEPENDENCE GIFT. GIFT WAS SHIPPED TO CYBIS INC ON MARCH 20 FOR REPAIR AS DIRECTED BY REFTEL.
Reply from State Dept on May 16th
NEW CYBIS SCULPTURE OF PEGASUS COMPLETED THIS WEEK. SEEKING PERSON KNOWN-TO-DEPARTMENT GOING ON DIRECT FLIGHT FROM NEW YORK TO BRIDGETOWN TO ACCOMPANY PIECE TO ENSURE ITS SAFETY OR OTHER MEANS CONSIDERED MOST SAFE. ANY RECOMMENDATION FROM EMBASSY WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
Followup from Embassy to State Dept on June 18th
EMBASSY HAS MADE NO RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO HOW DEPT CAN GET NEW CYBIS SCULPTURE OF PEGASUS FROM NEW YORK TO BRIDGETOWN SAFELY BECAUSE IT HASN’T HAD ANY SUGGESTIONS TO MAKE, BUT BELIEVE THIS REPLACEMENT GIFT SHOULD ARRIVE BEFORE GRENADA ADMITTED TO UN. POSSIBLY WILLIAM MOORE EXPECTED ARRIVE THIS POST JULY 15 COULD BE ROUTED THROUGH N.Y. TO ACCOMPLISH THIS CHORE. MOOSE AND MOORE EXPECTED TO TRAVEL GRENADA DURING TEN DAYS AFTER MOORE’S ARRIVAL AND MOOSE’S DEPARTURE. COULD PRESENT GIFT AT THAT TIME.
From Dept of State to US Embassy on July 31st (six weeks later…….)
GIFT WILL ARRIVE AUGUST 1, AT 6:42 P.M., EA FLIGHT 777 FROM SAN JUAN. PICKUP SHOULD BE WITHIN THREE HOURS TO AVOID NECESSITATING ANY DELIVERY CHARGE TO EMBASSY. AIRLINE WISHES NOT TO STORE DUE TO NATURE OF PACKAGE. ANY ASSISTANCE APPRECIATED. REGRET DELAY. KISSINGER
From Embassy to Dept of State on August 2nd
GIFT DID NOT ARRIVE PER REFTEL. PLEASE ADVISE.
Followup from Embassy to Dept of State on August 13th 1974 (six months after the initial cable)
AS PREVIOUSLY REPORTED IN REF B, GRENADA GIFT DID NOT ARRIVE AS SCHEDULED. GIFT HAS STILL NOT ARRIVED. IMPOSSIBLE BEGIN TRACER ACTION FROM BRIDGETOWN SINCE DETAILS GIFT’S METHOD TRANSPORTATION UNKNOWN. PLEASE ADVISE.
Unfortunately that’s where the WikiLeaks trail ends (as did the Nixon administration…) so we have no idea whether the replacement Pegasus ever safely “flew” to Grenada! Grenada was admitted to the UN on Sept 17, 1974… just about a month after the final cable. The 1979 Cybis catalog does list “Governor’s Mansion, Grenada” as one of the locations of at least one Cybis piece – perhaps that is the peripatetic Pegasus? However, the building suffered damage on two subsequent occasions: during the October 1983 intervention by the US Navy SEALS, and then in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan so badly damaged the Mansion that it became uninhabitable. Four years later the building was still in ruins and it’s not known what ultimately happened to any of the contents.
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