The Hall of Shame (copies of Cybis porcelain)

The Hall of Shame (copies of Cybis porcelain)

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but when it comes to things like copyright infringement there's such a thing as being a little too flattering! So herewith the Archive inaugurates a Hall of Shame displaying blatant knockoffs of Cybis Porcelain copyrighted designs. There is one item that I dithered over adding to [...]

Edition Size Discrepancies: A Cybis Conundrum

From a collector’s point of view, the issue size of a limited-edition item is of major importance; it’s therefore disconcerting if the artist or manufacturer plays fast and loose with that particular attribute. The concept of marketing retail items as “limited editions” didn’t become widespread until the 1960s. The Boehm Porcelain studio was one of [...]

Upsize, Downsize (or, Honey I Shrunk the Cybis)

Upsize, Downsize (or, Honey I Shrunk the Cybis)

Although I’ve never been a big fan of Cybis’ Hall of Fame series of replicated “legacy” sculptures, I’ve always been curious about how they managed to produce identical but downscaled versions of pieces whose original molds were destroyed decades ago. After discovering an upscaled version of a circa-1950s piece I decided to finally learn how [...]

Authenticating Cybis Porcelain – Part Two

Authenticating Cybis Porcelain – Part Two

The most important elements in authenticating a sculpture that appears, or is claimed, to be Cybis involve the painting/decoration, mold impressions, and applied marks. Painting and Decoration This is the subtlest factor in determining whether a piece of Cybis is genuine and is the most challenging to master. The more Cybis sculptures one sees (if [...]

Authenticating Cybis Porcelain – Part One

Authenticating Cybis Porcelain – Part One

Some observers and/or collectors of Cybis may be puzzled by the appearance of pieces that appear to be Cybis but lack (or present in a different form) one or more of the typical Cybis attributes. Some of these sculptures derive from molds that were available to the entire ceramics market (as described in When Is [...]

When is a Cybis Not a Cybis?

When is a Cybis Not a Cybis?

Recently I decided to investigate why certain Cybis porcelain sculptures seemingly appear so often as knockoffs/copies. The answer involves the Cybis studio, another Trenton company, and of course the question of copyright. Polish immigrant Boleslaw Cybis operated his studio – first as the Cordey China Company and ultimately as Cybis – beginning in the early [...]