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 are 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 current Cybis site lists a Holiday Boy with Bow Stocking and Panda Bear for $495. However, the accompanying photo does not match that description – an error fairly often found elsewhere on the site.
This is the photo shown on the Cybis site next to that description; it is the 1980 Holiday Child exactly, except that the stocking has a white background instead of green. The first assumption would be that the name (shown on three different site pages) and description erroneously say “Bow” instead of “Noel” when describing the stocking…. but if so, what about the name of the next sculpture listed there?
The other sculpture listed on the current Cybis site is Holiday Girl with Noel Stocking and Clown Doll, also at $495 and with no accompanying photo at all. It seems unlikely that a description error would have be made for both sculptures at the same time. Clearly this must be the 1983 Holiday Child but now holding a different stocking because this is supposedly a ‘new’ piece — not the one that was retired decades ago. These are not meant to be Hall of Fame replicas either.
My educated guess is that the Cybis site contains two errors when it comes to the current “Holiday Boy”. First, the wrong photo is attached to it; and second, the current description should say “teddy bear” instead of “panda bear”. If so, then the website item would actually be the sculpture shown in my third example.
I also think that the new gender identification of “Boy” and “Girl” is an attempt to separate these from the original 1980s ‘Holiday Child’ retired pieces. Despite the lack of any photo, the current “Holiday Girl” is surely the 1983 Child but now looking up from the 1980 Noel stocking (although no idea of its current colorway). And because the old version had a blue nightgown-tie, this new iteration – because it’s now supposed to be a girl – must have a pink one.
So there are several versions of the Cybis Holiday Child(ren), two of which definitely date from 1980 and 1983 and two that are from the 1990s or early 2000s.
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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