Are you trying to identify a human-figure Cybis whose name is unknown to you? Here are some helpful tips for locating it within this website.
Design Elements and Accoutrements
Certain design characteristics often supply a clue to which Archive post the piece lives in. Several are straightforward, such as all the Native American sculptures being in their own post, as are the ballet-related and the circus pieces. Mermaids are in All at Sea along with the other maritime themed sculptures.
If the figure has wings it will be in the Flights of Fantasy post. If it represents a baby or child and shows the head/neck or head/neck/shoulders only, it will be in Child Portrait Busts. If a musical instrument is part of the design, Music and Opera is where it will reside. If the figure depicts anything relating to a sport, the Sports Figures post is the place to look (although the Figure Skaters are separate, they are linked to in the Sports post.) Does she wear or hold a hat? Look in Bonnet Girls.
There are only four Cybis pieces in which a doll appears: Wendy, Michael, Elizabeth Ann, and the Holiday Children.
Three human pieces include a dog as a secondary element: Eskimo Mother, Rumples the Pensive Clown, and Kara. Only one (Suzanne) contains a cat.
[An upcoming post will list all of the Cybis sculptures that were attached to a base or originally came with an accompanying base.]
Age (Child or Adult)
If your sculpture represents an adult but is not a religious-themed figure, it may be one of the “Portraits in Porcelain” series. Here in the Archive those are grouped according to who the sculpture represented: characters from secular literature, mythology, biblical characters, or historical personages.
The tricky part is that while all of the “Portraits in Porcelain” pieces were adults, not all non-children fell into that category. Also, sometimes the figure’s intended “age” is ambiguous. Take, for example, Laura who is one of my so-called Bonnet Girls (the studio never had such a category but for my purposes it is useful) – she’s clearly not a young child but is she a teenager? A twenty-something?
A word should be said here about the various categories (“Collections”) that the Cybis studio used. I do not utilize them because, with very few exceptions such as the Portraits in Porcelain, the characteristics of those collections were quite fluid. A look at the various price lists through the decades will show that the names and occupants of most Cybis collections changed (expanded, shrank, appeared, or disappeared) with annoying regularity. In the studio’s final decade they went overboard and pretty much invented a “collection” for every possible interpretation! Thus we see, instead of the single “Animal Kingdom and Woodland Collection” of the 1980s advertising literature, headings such as “Bunny Collection”, “Deer Collection”, “Dolphin, Whale and Seal Collection”, etc, during the 1990s. Some of these so-called collections never contained more than a single sculpture.
The costuming is also a clue to the likely Archive post. A figure portrayed in European or American dress of the 1400s through the 1900s is likely to be in the Literature, Shakespeare, or Historical Personages post. Those in ancient/classical garb (other than Nefertiti, Cleopatra, and Marc Antony who are all in Historical) are in Mythology or Classical Impressions unless it has wings, which will fly it directly into Fantasy.
The child figures that are not busts and do not have a helpful extra accoutrement can be found in various posts: Nursery Rhymes, Fairy Tales, Children to Cherish, and (for some) Pink and Blue. To help narrow down this rather wide field, the pose of the figure can often help.
Posture and Seating
The majority of Cybis full figure sculptures are in a standing position, so the seated or kneeling ones are actually easier to find if you don’t know their name.
If the piece is in the religious genre, simply click on the Religious/Biblical category of the Archive and proceed from there. Angels and the first and second nativity sets are in this category also.
The non-religious non-upright sculptures can be narrowed down to how they are seated. (In order to avoid Google flagging this post as a “link farm”, information about each of these pieces can be accessed through the alphabetical sculpture-name Index page.)
Adult/Young Adult Female on a Chair or Seat:
Abigail Adams, Columbia, First Born Virginia Dare (seated woman holding baby), Marguerite, Nefertiti, Persephone, Polish Bride, Queen Guinevere, Rapunzel, Rose White, Scarlett, Sleeping Beauty
Adult Male on a Chair or Seat: Folk Singer, Hamlet, Puck
Female Child on a Chair or Seat: Alice, Cinderella, Little Miss Muffet, Pollyanna, The Little Match Girl
The “kneeling” category is a bit squiffy because some of the on-ground poses of children could be interpreted as either sitting or kneeling. Six are in a definite kneeling posture. The Holiday Child pieces could go either way.
Child Kneeling: Bedtime Beth (praying), Bedtime Jody (praying), First Bath (holding bird), First Bouquet (holding orange flowers), First Flight (holding bird), Holiday Child (various), Rebecca (with flowerpot)
Female child, not upright but with no chair/seat: Alice in Wonderland, April, Elizabeth Ann, Girl Picking Daisies, Girl With Lamb, Pandora, Rose Red (who looks more like a teen), Springtime, Suzanne (with kitten), Thumbelina
Male child, not upright but with no chair/seat: Andy, Carnation Boy, Christopher the Sea Listener, Little Boy Blue (sleeping), Nicky the Drummer Boy, Rusty and Jonny Playing Marbles, Strawberry Boy
If after checking via these methods you still do not see your Cybis sculpture in the Archive, please contact me via the About the Archive page and I will reply via email to which you may send a photo.
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