The Cybis Porcelain Archive was actually born (in a manner of speaking) in 2010 as an adjunct to a shop I had on Etsy selling vintage jewelry and collectibles, some of which were Cybis. Because I wanted customers to know more about the type of items in my shop, I decided to set up a blog on Tumblr and write informational articles to which I linked from my Etsy listings. My earliest Cybis posts were more of an introduction to their work than a production overview.
I closed my Etsy shop in early 2015. By that time I had written almost a dozen Cybis posts and discovered that there was definitely a need to have accurate information available for collectors, shoppers, and sellers to access. There was absolutely no single information source covering the entire timeline of Cybis production, either in print or on the internet. As the online secondary market continued to expand, there was clearly a need for such a “one-stop” resource.
My Tumblr posts were relocated to WordPress as part of a new blog I set up as The Chatsworth Lady … a variation of my former Etsy shop name, Chatsworth Vintage. Here the Cybis posts were joined by other topics such as gardening, jewelry, and the occasional random topic and musings. In early 2016 I decided to spin off my Connoisseur of Malvern series onto its own website, and by the autumn of that year I realized that the Cybis content would be better served by doing the same. And thus, here we are: The Cybis Archive as a separate site.
About ‘The Cybis Archivist’ (a/k/a The Chatsworth Lady)
I purchased my first piece of Cybis purely by chance during the early 1970s, in the giftware department of an upscale department store (Bonwit Teller) across the street from where I worked. I was just a lowly clerk-typist but would often spend half my lunch hour there, wish-shopping the lovely things I couldn’t yet afford to buy. One day I came upon an adorable little porcelain owl, made by a company I’d never heard of, and on impulse decided to buy him despite the $50 price tag which represented almost half of a week’s takehome pay. This was, of course, the Baby Owl … a staple of the Cybis line continuously since 1957.
Well, one thing led to another and over the next 20+ years that little owl acquired a lot of company! An entire bedroom in our house was converted into space for commercial-size display cabinets, and there was a boxful of Cybis brochures, advertisements, and catalogs.
Fast forward again to the late 1990s when that entire boxful was lost in a house move. However, the collection remained intact — until the early 2000s when the majority of it had to be sold in order to pay (pre-ACA) medical expenses. However, even though only a very few most-favorite pieces remain, my appreciation for Cybis continues. What better way to put my experience to use than to establish an online “encylopedia” of Cybis?
What the Cybis Archive Is, and Isn’t
I’m happy to say that the Cybis Archive has become the most comprehensive single source of information about Cybis Porcelain either online or in print. It draws data from official and first-hand sources only: actual Cybis catalogs and advertising brochures, advertising by authorized Cybis retailers from 1960-1990s, and conversations and correspondence with people who actually worked at the Cybis studio.
When my Cybis posts first moved to WordPress I obtained permission from the Cybis Studio to use their copyrighted photographs as illustrations and those images are identified by a Cybis watermark. Their permission extends only to their use by me, on my site, for this specific purpose. The Archive is not associated with the Cybis Studio in any legal or commercial sense. It is a personal site that provides education, commentary and information about the studio’s history and products; the Cybis Archive is not a division of the Cybis porcelain studio.
The Cybis Archive is not a selling venue for Cybis porcelain, and does not advertise any Cybis for sale.
With only one exception, this site does not provide current market prices for Cybis; there is a post specifically addressing that topic.
How to Use the Cybis Archive
In an effort to group sculptures together in what I hope is an interesting fashion, the posts typically have a theme which falls into one of the general Categories shown in the sidebar (when viewed on a computer) or lower portion of the screen (on a mobile device.) Thus, under the People category you will find links to the posts showing the Shakespeare characters, characters from literature, ballerinas, and so on. Sometimes a post will fall into more than one category (e.g., both Holidays and Home Decor) and so it is accessible from either. The Search function can also be used.
The “Useful Cybis Topics” category contains all the posts that are not an overview of sculpture ‘themes’. In this category you will find posts on such topics as signatures and marks, the various edition types, how to determine whether a piece is authentic, the studio’s history, etc.
The Index lists all of the sculptures either illustrated or mentioned by name on this site, with a link to the post(s) within which the piece appears. This is an expansion of my original Chatsworth Lady site index in which only sculptures that had an image were listed; now if a piece is mentioned or described but no photo is currently available, it will be added to the Index with the notation [no image]. The Index is continually updated as new images and posts are added.
If you would like to contact me directly with any questions or to identify a piece that doesn’t already appear in the Archive, you can use the Contact Form below and I will respond via email. (Neither your message nor your email address will be visible on the site when using this Contact Form.)
I hope you enjoy browsing through the Cybis ‘online encyclopedia’! 🙂