A rule of thumb regarding Cybis porcelains production was that – unlike many other studios – they did not physically put the name/title of the design on the piece itself. In fact, until a couple of years ago, I would have gone so far as to say they never did so…until I discovered three designs on which Cybis did put the name. Sometimes.
Two were open (non-limited) editions, and the third was a retailer-event variation of an open edition.
Baby Rhino ‘Monday’
The baby rhinoceros Monday was introduced in 1985 that sold for $85. He is 4.5” high and was designed by Susan Eaton.
Many examples look like this on the underside. There is the Cybis signature with USA beneath it, near one of the two firing holes.
However, some examples also include the sculpture name as well, in block letters, in the same general area. Notice that these also received the phoenix mold impression, which the no-title examples do not have. The mold impression is the phoenix logo with Cybis © 1985 and USA below it.
In 1987, Cybis introduced a variation of Monday in which he wears a blue bow around his neck along with a red heart that says Love Me. In price lists, this variation was called Baby Rhino ‘Love is Blind’. Very few of these have come up for sale online but the ones I have seen do not have a title on the underside. At some point, Monday was also used as a retailer-event piece by putting a blue butterfly atop his nose.
Hippo ‘T.G.I.F.’ (Thank Goodness It’s Friday)
Cybis followed their 1985 Monday with the introduction of Hippo ‘T.G.I.F.’ in 1986. He sold for $95 and was also designed by Susan Eaton. In some price lists the full title is shown but on most it is not. He is 5” tall.
These three examples have the Cybis USA signature in paint. The two lower examples also have the mold impression; the upper example may also have it but I could not be certain from the photo.
These examples also include the title as well. The lower two examples have the mold impression but the uppermost one does not seem to have received it.
A version of TGIF was also used (with a butterfly on his nose) as a retailer event piece in 1987. During the 1990s, a sports version was also produced for retail; examples of these can be seen in the Menagerie post. Neither of those variations have a name/title on the piece.
On the Spring 1993 price list, Cybis showed both of these at $125 each. For their Fall 1993 price list, they raised the prices to $135 each but offered a discount for purchasing both together at $250. This $20 savings opportunity was only offered for about a year, so it’s unlikely (although possible) that the ‘named’ examples date from only that short period.
The only other example of a physically-named Cybis sculpture known at this point is a retailer event piece from the 1990s.
Roberta is a blue variation of the 1987 open edition called Young Rose (shown on the left in photo). Roberta was initially created in 1996 as a Cybis-event promo piece for the Roberta’s Collectibles store in Florida. Although all of them look alike as far as decoration/color, there are differences in the signature area.
A quantity (100 or more) were shipped to the store for the event. Those pieces were numbered at the studio, and also autographed by Theresa Chorlton (as T. Rose, her maiden name) there as well. It is also possible that she signed them at the event, but usually in those cases the person used a marking pen rather than the classic Cybis brown paint.
Pieces that were either sold at the studio itself, or sent to any other retailers that Cybis may still have had by 1996, are not numbered and not autographed.
Some of the Roberta pieces have the name written near the back hem of her skirt. There does not seem to be a correlation between the Roberta on the skirt, and whether the piece is also numbered and autographed. A correspondent of mine had three of these pieces and told me that while all of them had Roberta on the skirt, only two of them were numbered and autographed. So, it seems as if there are three possible markings scenarios for Roberta:
- Not numbered, not autographed, not titled
- Not numbered, not autographed, but is titled Roberta on the skirt
- Numbered, autographed, and titled Roberta on the skirt
If any reader happens to have any other Cybis design that has the actual sculpture name/title on the piece in typical brown Cybis paint (it will match the Cybis signature or be very close to it), please let me know so that I can add that instance to this page (and increase the titled-Cybis count!). There is a contact form link below.
A Brief Note about Three Other Designs
There were three 1970s Cybis pieces – all limited editions – that displayed the sculpture title but it via a brass plaque affixed to a wood base, but not applied to the sculpture itself.
The wood base upon which Nashua stands has a brass plaque identifying the specific subject of the porcelain. It is very possible for the wood base and porcelain to become separated over time, in which case the horse alone would have no ‘name tag’, so to speak.
A similar situation exists with Columbia. Each plaque in the series shows a different event but it has the name Columbia as the first line. The same possibility (porcelain separated from base) can exist for this piece as for Nashua.
The brass plaque attached to this sculpture is only glued on (no push pins, as Nashua and Columbia have), and so the plaque itself could detach over time. The actual title of the Cybis piece is Tranquility Base ‘Apollo 11 Moon Mission’, and so the wording of the plaque does not exactly match its title.
No other Cybis pieces intended for retail sale had a title plaque affixed to a wood base.
A Cybis Title That Isn’t
One Cybis piece has a name’on it that is not the name of the piece, although some online sellers have misinterpreted it as such.
This is Arion the Dolphin Rider which was one of two pieces designed in conjunction with a fund-raising effort for the Cousteau Society. The sculpture itself is a copy of a Carl Jennewein bronze; see the All at Sea post for the story of this sculpture.
The mold for the porcelain base section includes a human figure (or mermaid?) swimming with a dolphin, below the name Calypso. This is not the name of the sculpture; it was the name of Jacques Cousteau’s research ship. The ship was originally a British minesweeper that had been converted to a ferry and re-named Calypso, after the Greek nymph who held Ulysses captive for a decade.
Name Index of Cybis Sculptures
Visual Index (for human figures/busts only)
About the Cybis Reference Archive
What is Cybis?
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The Cybis Archive is a continually-updated website that provides the most comprehensive range of information about Cybis within a single source. It is not and never has been part of the Cybis Porcelain studio, which is no longer in business.