Cybis Porcelain Tableware

Tableware (plates, bowls, cups, etc.) isn’t the type of product one normally associates with Cybis, but during the 1940s – and, to a much lesser extent, the 1980s – there were more such items than you’d probably expect.  Let’s take a look at the known Cybis tableware items by genre.


In this case, ‘plates’ does not mean decorative ones such as those in the Plates and Plaques post. These could be literally used at the table, although the wisdom of that usage, given the prevalence of lead in circa-1940s glazes, is debatable!

This is literally a ‘plain vanilla’ dinner plate from the 1940s, in its unfinished state. The rim design is a combination of small scrolls in relief, and a dart shape that is impressed. From the photo, it’s hard to tell whether the plate is still in the greenware stage or whether it has been through the first (bisque) firing and is simply very dirty. I have never seen a finished Cybis plate like this, so perhaps it was a test piece.

These small leaf plates would be perfect for small salads or canapes. The dark green one is decorated with hand-painted flower.

The spatterware reproductions are examined in much greater detail in their own post, so I’m only going to show a few examples below:

PEAFOWL DINNER PLATE red full spatterware by Cybis 1940sThis dinner plate, in the Peafowl pattern and allover red spatter, is about 8” in diameter.

ROOSTER CUP PLATE yellow edge Cybis spatterware 1940sA ‘cup plate’ in the Rooster pattern with yellow spatter. Cup plates are just shy of 4” round.

SCHOOLHOUSE CUP OR TODDY PLATE blue edge Cybis spatterware 1940sA ‘toddy plate’ in the Schoolhouse pattern with blue spatter. It is a bit more than 5” in diameter.

ADAMS ROSE and CABBAGE ROSE plates by Cybis 1940sHere are a cup plate (left) and what was described as a salad plate (but looks more like a dinner plate size to me) in Cybis’ version of a historical Cabbage Rose pattern.

BUTTERFLY MOTIF DINNER PLATE by Cybis 1940sThis very detailed historical Butterfly Motif dinner plate is 7.69” in diameter.

SHIP TODDY PLATE WITH ROSES in round shape by Cybis 1940sThis Ship Toddy Plate combines with rich shades of blue. It is 5.25” round.

EAGLE SALAD PLATE with green scalloped rim by Cybis 1940sMany of the “eagle” motif plates had hand painted, rather than molded, central designs. This salad plate is 6.8” round. The more intricate pressed plates were likely only used for display on a sideboard, hutch, or in a china cabinet rather than as actual tableware.


Some very interesting mugs from the early 1940s studio have been found, and are likely either one-offs or very few of a kind.


This Toby Mug was almost certainly an experimental piece. He reminds me of Eliza Doolittle’s father from the classic movie My Fair Lady!

Mug handles can offer great scope for creativity. The mug body and dog heads were almost certainly cast from purchased molds. Was this Dog Handle Mug used for drinking, or for shaving?

The next four mugs carry handle-creativity to new heights!



female handle mug with autumn leaves and green accents by Cybis 1950s view 2

female handle mug with teal leaves and gilt accents by Cybis 1950s view 2These mugs are 7” high and 4” in diameter (not including the handles.) Additional views of these lady mugs and their backstory can be found here and here. Cybis purchased plain mugs (body and handle) from the Nassau China Company and then added all of the decorative elements.

At first, I thought these were thimble-cups (no handles) but then noticed the section of handle just peeking out from behind the Peafowl example, which means they are indeed mugs. As the photo shows, these are only 2.5” high which is just a little bit taller than a standard 1-oz. shot glass. Clearly, these mini mugs shouldn’t be considered ‘tableware’ but they are mugs and I have absolutely no idea where else to put these!

Cups and Saucers

These cups (and accompanying saucers) are all from the 1940s as well.

This gold-net tea setting (cup, saucer, and dessert plate) is quite impressive. The complicated ‘net’ design was apparently drizzled on by hand with thin porcelain slip, fired, and then painstakingly decorated with 14, 18, or 24 k gold paint. The original Cybis markings are in blue; the black ones are the New Jersey State Museum’s inventory numbers.

The historical-reproduction cups and saucers were all handleless.

PEAFOWL CUP AND SAUCER red full spatterware by Cybis 1940sThe Peafowl motif cup (2.5” high and a bit more than 3.5” diameter at the top) and cup plate (5.75” diameter)

These photos show a Butterfly Motif cup and saucer in their partially finished (left) and completed states.

Tea Pots, Pitchers, and Creamers

There are two known tea sets by Cybis, and both date from the late 1940s. I have been able to obtain a photo of only one of them.

The set described in the 1971 NJSM exhibit Cybis in Retrospect as Tea Set, Black Glaze with White Floral Decoration was this one. It was lent to the exhibit by Marylin Chorlton’s family, who kindly sent me this photo. The pieces given to the show were listed as “two cups, two saucers, a teapot, a sugar bowl, a creamer, and a cookie jar.” Sadly, the pieces shown above were the only ones that the family received back after the exhibit ended; a cup, a saucer, and the cookie jar went missing.

Another set described in the exhibit catalog but supposedly owned by the Cybis studio had the same pieces but in Yellow Glaze with Brown Leaf Decoration. This set was not among the items that the studio sent to its liquidator in 2019.

PEAFOWL COFFEEPOT red spatterware by Cybis 1940sA small spatterware repro coffee pot in the Peafowl pattern. It is 8” high overall.

SCHOOLHOUSE OCTAGONAL CREAMER red spatterware by Cybis 1940sThis Farmhouse pattern creamer matches the coffee pot in body style (octagonal) and handle. This is the larger (6” high) of the two sizes of creamer that Cybis made. Supposedly there was a matching sugar bowl as well, but no photo has been found.

three octagonal reproduction creamers by Cybis circa late 1940s early 1950sThe same creamer mold in differing decorations.

The pitchers made at the Cybis studio during the 1940s fall into two categories, both reproductions: lusterware and spatterware.

LUSTERWARE CREAMERS by Cybis late 1940s early 1950sSupposedly, these six are the only lusterware Cybis items known. No dimensions were given in the exhibit catalog, but their shape suggests that they are creamers.

This is definitely a pitcher, made by Cybis in the early 1940s (possibly 1942.) It is an exact copy of the Ridgeway China Company’s design depicting Tam O’Shanter from the Robert Burns poem. Tam, riding home late and drunk as usual, encounters and spies upon the doings of a coven of witches. One of the witches pursues him and, just before Tam reaches the safety of the bridge (witches cannot cross running water), manages to grab onto his horse’s tail and pull it off. This side of the Cybis mug depicts that part of the story.

Serving Dishes or Trays

The very few items than can be classified (at a stretch) as serving dishes or trays come – with two exceptions – from the 1970s and 1980s. The studio did not market any of them as tableware, but either their name or appearance suggest that possible use for them.

BONBONNIERE BAPTISMAL SHELL in Pink by CybisCybis always called this the Bonbonniere Baptismal Shell while it was initially being made during the 1970s (1975-1977.) One definition of bonbonniere is “a small fancy dish or box for bonbons” which does put this into the serving-dish category. However, the fact that the studio offered it in a choice of pink or blue makes it more likely that they had the baptismal use in mind. It is 1.75” high and 6” long including the handle. Although retired in 1977, the studio resurrected the mold in 1990 and changed its name to Baptismal Font. It was, however, also meant as a candy dish during the 1970s.


For a few years during the mid-1980s, Cybis produced several items in an iris motif. One of them was this Iris Pedestal Dish which was also called the Iris Footed Dish in some studio advertising. It is 2” high, 5.5” wide, and 11” long. Celery, anyone?

A circa-1970s Cybis name-only item list mentions a Mint Tray and a Lizard Tray from the 1950s(?) but no photo has yet been found of either of those.

Candle Sticks and Candle Holders

The Cybis studio made candle holders during the mid-1940s and into the early 1950s, took a break, and then produced at least one style during the 1980s.

A selection of early Cybis candle holders from a 1944 ceramics trade magazine.

These angel candle holders are from the 1950s and were cast from a commercially available mold. They are 8.75” high and are decorated in the same style as the studio’s 1950s religious pieces.

A much shorter (less than 4” high) pair of rose-decorated candle holders from the early 1950s.

These iris-motif candle holders from 1984 were described by Cybis as “candle sticks” but, being only 4.75” high, would more properly be called handle holders. These match the Iris Pedestal Dish and also a vase which is shown in the Vases post. These were also available in plain white bisque.

The age of these obviously very short candle holders is a mystery. They were among the items consigned to the studio’s liquidation auctions. The design could be 1950s, and the gold trimmed one could fit that era – but not so much the silver one.  These could be 1970s designs that were never released and just shelved.

grapevine candle cups by CybisAre these candle cups (to hold votive candles), or are they small drinking cups? They are glazed on the inside, and so could have been meant as either. These are from the mid-1980s and are similar in style to the Bacchus Vase from that timeframe. They are 3” tall which seems too small for drinking anything out of, so I’m going to classify these as candle cups.

Fan Place Card Holder RIBBON OF HOPE by CybisThis final example is definitely a tableware item, because it is a place-card holder. These date from the very late 1980s and 1990. It was made by taking the fan mold from the completed Good Queen Anne, putting it onto a bow-mold base so that it could stand upright, and adding a floral decoration. The example above is one of three known colorways; there may have been more. This pink one was marketed as the Ribbon of Hope Fan Card Holder even though it does not have the typical crossed-pink-ribbon motif on it. These are about 2” high and sold for $50 in 2000. See the Giftware post for two other known color versions.

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