This is a companion (or ‘brother’?) post to my 2018 Cybis Bonnet Girls. While compiling this I was surprised to discover that there were almost three times as many males wearing headgear (30) as females (11)! And that is without including any crowned Cybis figures or any of the North American Indians (because I feel it would be disrespectful to Native American culture to refer to theirs as “hats.”)
I’ve divided the chapeau-wearing chaps into adult males and boys, arranged by sculpture introduction year. There were also quite a few hat-wearing animals which will be mentioned at the end. So, let’s get this sartorial scenario started!
Adult Males (17)
Saint Patrick was one of the 1950s pieces that was produced from a Holland Mold Company mold, and so technically is not a Cybis design although I’m including it for completeness. He is wearing a Bishop’s miter because in later life he served as Bishop of Ireland. (A miter is not considered to be a crown.) None of the 1950s pieces were limited editions.
The 1950s Nativity Murals were, likewise, Holland Mold designs rather than original Cybis. In the Three Wise Men mural, two wear a turban and one a crown; in the 1980s nativity series the three were issued individually as kings. I’m counting this as a single hatted piece.
Also also part of the same 1950s series was the Camel Tender who also wears a turban. None of these pieces were limited editions.
Robin Hood wears the traditional hat of Lincoln green felt with a jaunty feather. Rather surprisingly, this piece was issued as a limited edition in 1964.
The George Washington Bust was another non-limited-edition hat-wearing adult male, introduced in 1975 in preparation for the 1976 Bicentennial. He wears the traditional circa-1770s tricorn hat, here decorated with a rosette called a cockade. During the Revolutionary War, most cockades were black but when the French (who favored white cockades) formed an alliance with us in 1778, many were made in black-and-white as a celebration of that partnership.
The Court Jester, from 1978, sports the typical headgear with jingling bells on the pointed tips. This type is based on a monk’s cowl.
Harlequin – often confused with the Court Jester – appeared in 1980. His headgear differs from the Court Jester’s in that it is a separate cap rather than the cowl type.
Frollo, the Juggler was issued as a limited edition of 1000 in 1981. This type of floppy clown headgear is sometimes called a tramp hat.
I’m making a guess that Beau Brummel dates from either 1983 or 1984 and was a short-lived limited edition. He is the only male design in which the hat is carried, rather than worn.
Othello was a limited edition issued in 1983. His turban is decorated with three feathers secured by a ‘ruby.’
The Shepherd, issued in 1984 as part of the studio’s second Nativity series, wears a simple cloth head covering secured by a twisted rope.
Pagliacci, from 1985, was also a non-limited edition.
Like all of the other Cybis clown designs, Jumbles wears a hat. This edition of 750 was also from 1985. This style of hat is typical of an Auguste-style clown costume.
Although at first glance the headgear on the male dancer in Swan Lake’s Odette may look like part of his cape, it is actually an elaborate feathered cowl. This limited edition appeared in 1987; more photos are in the ballet post.
The first of The Pope busts appeared in 1988 and eventually was offered in various heights and colors and edition sizes. The initial version, shown here, is 14” high but they were all cast from the same design mold. The small cap is called a zucchetto, and the white version is reserved only for the Pope. Cardinals wear red ones and bishops wear purple.
The Mark Antony Bust appeared in 1989 as a separate companion piece to the Cleopatra Bust. Both were editions of 1000 that were never completed. These plumed Roman helmets were called galea, and the position of the crest was based on rank: a legionnaire’s crest pointed forward and back, while a centurion’s was oriented sideways.
The Buccaneer appeared on the studio’s circa-early-2000s web site, cited as being a limited edition with no edition size specified. I suspect that only one test piece was made, because this is the only photo I’ve ever found of him and there were none in the studio’s 2019 liquidation sale. He wears the typical tricorn hat that we all associate with pirates (Johnny Depp included!)
These were all open (non-limited) editions.
Peter Pan was one of the earliest child pieces, appearing in 1958.
The standard retail version of Eskimo Child Head ‘Snow Bunting’ appeared in 1972. In the late 1970s a variation named Nanuq ‘Little Polar Bear’ was the designated retail event piece one year; he has a knitted cap added to his original fur-trimmed hood.
Yankee Doodle Dandy from 1975. This style of folded-paper hat with a feather is called a ‘Robin Hood Hat.’
Funny Face appeared in 1976 (original blue version) and 1978 (Funny Face with Holly) Although the studio gave this piece a non-gender title (Child Clown Head ‘Funny Face’), it was always assumed to be male, even before the 1985 introduction of the female child clown head ‘Valentine.’ There was also a 1970s retail event piece that was the same as the original blue version except for the colorway and a daisy replacing the bow; the hat is the same. In 1987 a commissioned piece called Lucky was identical to the blue version except for the color (green) and the face paint design.
The frog-riding fairy Tiffin in 1977 was a male companion piece to Marigold.
In Nancy and Ned ‘Sledding’ from 1978, both children wear knitted caps.Rumples the Pensive Clown, designed by William Pae and modelled on his son, was released in 1979. This hat mold, sans flowers, was re-used on one of the bunnies later.
Baa Baa Black Sheep from 1981 (the white sheep sculpture was sold separately.)
Little Jamie also appeared in 1981 and wears a boater-style straw-look hat.
Victorian boy Edward wears a ribboned sailor hat; he and his hatless sister Victoria appeared in 1981.
From the old nursery rhyme came Wee Willie Winkie in his stocking cap, in 1983.
The Prince and The Pauper are both hatted. These are the original 1987 retail versions. Their hats are based on two styles that were worn during the 1500s.
And of course there must be a Cowboy / Stetson hat somewhere! This piece appeared during the 1980s. Doesn’t his face look like a very young John Wayne?
Just a quick rundown of the retail-edition animals that Cybis topped with hats. All were open editions, and all but two are of the male gender. The two exceptions are both bunnies.
In the Circus post we find Barnaby the bear and Dandy the Dancing Dog; Big Top the Circus Dog and Pierre the Performing Poodle; and Monkey ‘Bosun.’ The hat mold used for Big Top and Pierre was also used for a number of bunny versions.
In the Bonanza of Bunnies there are a dozen, although ten of them are merely decorative variations of the same mold (Bunny ‘Bon Bon’) and the three hat molds are repeated as well:
From left to right: Bunny ‘Liberty’, Bunny ‘Patriot’, and Bon Bon in Santa Hat. The only difference between Liberty and Patriot is the color of their bowtie, rosette and buttons.
Here is Begorrah Bunny along with the Bunny Grad genders (Male and Female.)
The golf bunnies (left to right) Bogie, Mulligan, and Gimmee differ only in the color of their cap and club.
And finally we have Bunny ‘Patrick’ which used the Bunny ‘Snowflake’ mold, Bon Bon with Straw Hat, and the Ski Bunny.
The “Musical Menagerie” series included BoBo the bear and Merve the mouse; Hippo ‘Baseball Fan’ supports his favorite team.
Thus, in the overall “hat count”, the guys clearly have it!
Related post: The Cybis Bonnet Girls
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