In addition to their nativity sets and ornaments Cybis produced some child figurals known as the Holiday Children. Although made from only two basic molds they have been offered as various issues at different times. They were all nonlimited editions, 5.25” high.
The first was the 1980 Holiday Child who is looking down into a green-on-green ‘Noel’ Christmas stocking decorated with holly and berries. A panda bear leans against the child’s left leg. This piece was priced at $235 at introduction.
The second was the 1983 Holiday Child, looking upward while holding a white stocking decorated with a candycane. Just below the candycane is the year 1983 in blue. (The 1980 child’s stocking does not have a year on it.) A clown doll leans against the child’s right leg. I believe this piece was $245 at introduction.
This photo shows these two original 1980s Holiday Children together. Cybis later produced two variants which now appear on the Cybis site, plus a third and fourth which may have also been a 1980s issue or perhaps were special gallery event pieces.
Lacking any additional information, I’m calling this the holiday child with bow stocking and teddy bear. It differs from the 1980 child in three ways: the child’s nightgown has a blue ribbon tie at the neckline, the original panda has been re-colored into a brown Teddy bear, and the stocking is different (it has a red bow, and springs of evergreen and what are either tree ornaments or round candies against a white background.) I’ve not yet found any reference to a date for this piece
The final (early 2009) Cybis retail site listed a Holiday Boy with Bow Stocking and Panda Bear for $495. However, the accompanying photo did not match that description (an error often found on the site.) Shown above is the photo that was next to that description; it is the 1980 Holiday Child exactly, except that the stocking now has a white background instead of green. Clearly this photo shows a child with a Noel Stocking and a Panda Bear… not a Bow Stocking. The first assumption would be that the piece’s name (which by the way was shown that same way on three different site pages) and description erroneously said “Bow” instead of “Noel” when describing this piece. Or perhaps this circa-2000s Holiday Boy really does have a Bow Stocking, and the studio just pulled out an old 1980 photo to scan for the website.
The sculpture directly below it on the website was described as being Holiday Girl with Noel Stocking and Clown Doll, also at $495 but it had no accompanying photo at all (Murphy’s Law.) Was this piece actually was the upward-looking 1983 Holiday Child mold but now holding a Noel Stocking instead of the original Candycane Stocking because this is supposedly a ‘new’ piece?
I also think that the new gender identification of “Boy” and “Girl” was an attempt to separate these from the original 1980s ‘Holiday Child’ retired pieces. Despite the lack of any photo, their new “Holiday Girl” may well be the upward-looking 1983 “Child” but with a different stocking and a pink ribbon trim on the nightgown instead of the original blue. If that’s the case, then the “Holiday Boy” was probably trimmed in blue…just like the mysterious “child with bow stocking and Teddy bear” is… which was neither described nor illustrated on the circa-2008 Cybis website at all. (cue *headdesk*)
So there are several versions of the Cybis Holiday Child(ren), two of which definitely date from 1980 and 1983 and two that probably appeared in the 1990s as “boy” and “girl”. Whether any of the newer versions were actually sold is debatable and will only be resolved by either or both appearing someday on eBay.
Other Christmas/holiday themed Cybis pieces included the first and second nativity sets, the 12 Days of Christmas ornament series, the holiday versions of the child heads Funny Face and Valentine, various other ornaments and bells, and a plethora of “…with holly”-decorated rabbits and bears.
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