Although the proper term for a large group of rabbits is a colony or a fluffle, it does seem as if it should instead be “a reproduction of rabbits” or “a bonanza of bunnies”! Either of these would apply to the largesse of lagomorphs created in porcelain over the past half-century by Cybis. Indeed, they have been such a mainstay that since 1962 there has never been a year when bunnies were absent from the Cybis retail lineup.
All of the Cybis bunnies are/were open editions. Despite the fact that there have been no less than 47 (!) named sculptures, that tally actually derives from only 14 distinct molds. The population explosion comes from the multitude of decorative variants produced from most of those molds; in fact, only six of those 14 molds did not engender a “spinoff.”
The bunnies are sorted below according to the introduction year of the original design.
The very first Cybis bunny was Mr. Snowball who appeared in 1962. He is 4” high and was the least expensive item in the Cybis line at that time: only $7.50. He has been offered by Cybis without a break ever since, which means (as of this writing) 54 years and counting! He is on the existing Cybis site at $99.
Mr. Snowball with Holly is the only known variant. His exact introduction year is unknown but was probably 1987 or 1988 at which time he was priced at $110. His name at that time was shown as Mr. Holly but that was later changed to what is shown on the present-day Cybis site and priced at $150.
This floral-decorated Mr. Snowball is an artist’s proof, and reminds me of the decoration on the 1940s Cordey cats.
Muffet, introduced in 1976, is one of the bunnies that (to my knowledge) never had a variant. Issued at $85 and now retired, s/he is 3.25” high.
On the other hand (paw?) Pat-a-Cake, introduced in 1977 in color as shown at $90, has three known iterations. He is 4.5” high.
Cybis introduced a white version of Pat-a-Cake in 1978 as a new named sculpture called Bisquit at $60; by 1983 the retail price had risen to $95. The second photo demonstrates how the two vary only in coloration.
However, when in the early 1980s Cybis did this special event piece in an edition of 200 for Brielle Galleries they specifically named it Pat-A-Cake in White with Carrot (not “Bisquit with Carrot”). I am certain of the name because that was how the sculpture was advertised on the event invitation we received. This is one of the less common instances of an event piece being individually numbered, as shown in the second photo. The two retail versions (Pat-a-Cake and Bisquit) were both retired in the late 1980s/early 1990s.
The first of only two multi-rabbit sculptures was Bunnies ‘Cotton, Puff and Snow’ which was made for a relatively short term of 1980–1982. Issue price was $250 – perhaps a bit high for an open edition but I suppose the logic was that it contains three bunnies instead of just one! It was retired at $295. This piece is 4.5” high and never had a variant. It was designed by Lynn Klockner Brown.
Bon Bon, introduced in 1981, can claim the prize for the most “offspring” in the Cybis rabbit warren: a dozen! He is 4.75” high. A 1985 retailer advertisement shows him priced at $65 and so it’s likely that at introduction it was $60; he still appears on the Cybis site at $99. Each variant below was a separate retail edition with its own unique name and pricepoint; although their exact introduction years (and issue prices) are unknown at present, they all occurred during the 1980s and 1990s. All but one still appear on the existing Cybis website at the prices shown.
Puttin’ on the Ritz is Bon Bon with the addition of a black bowtie and two shirt buttons; currently $195.
Puttin’ on the Irish is the same as Puttin’ on the Ritz except that the bowtie and buttons appear to be a golden(?) green, and a matching hat has been added. To be honest, I do wonder if this image which appears next to the Cybis site listing for Puttin’ on the Irish is instead a photo of a different variant – not only because the decoration looks more gold than green but also I don’t see anything particularly Irish about it as shown, unless there is a shamrock boutonniere that is not visible in the photo. So there’s a bit of a caveat on this identification at present. Current pricing is $125 which also seems odd because “Ritz” is $70 more despite the lack of a hat!
This bunny is Liberty who is decked out in a red, white and blue colorway. He would look right at home attending a July Fourth parade or a political convention. His price is shown as $195. Oddly, all of the Bon Bon versions are shown on the Cybis site as being 4.75” high regardless of whether or not they are wearing a hat, which certainly would add to the overall height of some of those pieces.
Patriot is a slightly different colorway of Liberty; instead of a solid blue tie and boutonniere, his is striped red, white and blue. Despite differing only in the color of those two items, Patriot is priced slightly less: at $125 which is the same as Puttin’ on the Irish. (Confused yet? I am!!)
There are two different Christmas variations of Bon Bon. This one was probably the first and is called Bon Bon with Holly, currently $150. He looks a bit worried about being pricked under the chin by those holly leaves, doesn’t he?
The Cybis site does not provide a height for Bon Bon with Santa Hat but clearly it must be the tallest of the various versions. Although the hat is red and white, there were two colorways of it: red with white trim, and white with red trim. Whether there was ever also a green-and-white version is open to conjecture! Currently $140.
Bon Bon was apparantly a fan of higher education because he also celebrated graduations, as Bunny Grad, Male (black mortarboard) and Bunny Grad, Female (white mortarboard). They appeared in 1988 for $125 each. Both proudly carry their hard-earned diplomas, and retail for $295 each – a noticeable price jump from the other versions.
Four other Bon Bon variants are listed on the current site but without images. One is Bunny with Bonnet (Standing Holding Bouquet) at $295. I do recall seeing this sculpture, as well as its companion mentioned later, during the 1990s. The bonnet had a slightly ruffled edge but I don’t remember the colorway. The 5.25” height correlates with this added accessory.
Also listed but imageless is Bunny Prince at 5” high, for $295 which corresponds to the other late Bon Bon versions pricewise.
Undoubtedly the most expensive Cybis bunny is the Bunny Princess with Gold Crown; it’s too bad there is no photo! Cited as 5.25” high, she is priced at $695. So, what makes the Bunny Princess considerably more expensive than her consort? I do vaguely recall that she had an additional item of clothing but cannot recall exactly what it was: a robe? an Elizabethan ruff? perhaps a scepter? If any reader has either of these royal rabbits and would share a photo, please contact me via the form at the bottom of the About the Cybis Archive page.
A final confusing Irish Bon Bon shows up in the late-2008 Cybis website price list entry clipping below.
The sculpture described as Begorrah Bunny, wearing a green bow tie and straw hat, is almost certainly a Bon Bon variant; unfortunately that list gave only the name and price – no sculpture heights. The $125 pricing hints that perhaps this is the bunny that actually corresponds to the photo shown on the existing website next to Puttin’ on the Irish….. but then we’d necessarily be missing a photo of a (hatless) Bon Bon wearing a green bowtie. ‘Tis rather frustrating; excuse me a moment while I hit myself over the head with a carrot!
In 1983 Cybis introduced Jellybean who reclines comfortably at 2.5” high. Issue price is unknown but the existing Cybis site shows $99, with the holiday version Jellybean with Holly at $150.
Jellybean in Brown appeared during the early 1990s; I purchased mine at the Cybis studio which by that time was selling directly to collectors there. These were not available at any retailers. For some reason I cannot locate my original receipt but I seem to recall a price of $125 at that time for this special coloration.
Moving on to 1985 we find Snowflake, an appropriately white bunny currently listed at $99. She is 3.75”high. She has five known spinoffs, including Snowflake with Holly at $150.
Here is the special Snowflake in Brown from the studio.
Of course there is an Irish version! This is Patrick, introduced in 1986 for $95. He is all ready for the big parade in his green bowler hat and munching on a shamrock, at $150 presently.
One of the two Valentine themed bunnies is Heartfelt who appeared in 1987 for $95. Currently she is $135. Her name on the Cybis site is a bit confusing because it’s shown as Heartfelt Bunny with Heart Chain which could be interpreted as either a description of what the bunny is depicted as wearing, or that this bunny also comes with a piece of jewelry. Because I’ve never known Cybis to do anything like the latter, the assumption is that it’s merely a description of the decoration. However, does that mean there was also another “Heartfelt” bunny without this decoration? Current pricing for this Snowflake variant is $135.
Listed on Cybis’ site but not pictured is also Bunny with Bonnet, Sitting which – like the bonneted Bon Bon described earlier – I definitely recall seeing for sale in the 1980s. The 3.75” height of course matches with Snowflake; this variant is $195.
A member of Cybis’ animal band is Huey the Harmonious Hare from 1986. The Cybis website gives his name incorrectly as “Humorous” instead of “Harmonious”, but “Harmonious” it definitely is from all of their literature as well as the theme of that series which was designed by Steve Zuczek. Six inches high, Huey appears unfazed by the error in his billing and performs on the Cybis site for $175.
Another of the single-version rabbits is the Ski Bunny from 1987 at a price of $250. He shares his headgear with Bon Bon with Santa Hat, albeit in a different coloration and an applied texture to suggest knitwear. The current Cybis site gives his name as Bunny with Ski but his original name is/was Ski Bunny. He is 6” high and currently sells for $395.
An unusual dual-purpose bunny piece was named Bunny ‘A Tisket, A Tasket’ even though it contains not one but two rabbits. Designed by Steve Zuczek, this was introduced in 1987 for $250 and is currently $295 from Cybis. As seen in the photos above, the bunnies are the ‘front men’ for a porcelain basket. It is 4” high to the top of the basket’s handle. As seen in the photos above, the bunnies are the ‘front men’ for a porcelain basket. It is 4” high to the top of the basket’s handle.
The 1989 “golf bunnies” can boast of eight separate variations from a single mold.This happened to also be the Golden Anniversary year, in which all new introductions were given the special 50th Anniversary stamp if they were also physically produced during that year.
The variations differ only in their names, trim colors and position in which they hold their golf club. Photographs of two of them have shown the 50th Anniverary stamp but without having such photos of the other two I can’t say for certain whether all four colorways appeared in that year. The original issue price for the golf bunnies is unknown at present.
Golf Bunny ‘Gimmie’ wears an orange cap and carries an orange-handled club. He is 5.5” high and this one bears the 50th Anniversary stamp indicating it was made in 1989. This version is shown on the existing Cybis site at $175. He is also offered as Golf Bunny ‘Gimmie’ with Holly at $225 but is not pictured; the “holly” versions were definitely introduced after 1989 and so none of those have the Anniversary stamp.
Golf Bunny ‘Mulligan’ is the green-trimmed version. He too has the 50th Anniversary stamp. Current pricing for the standard and Golf Bunny ‘Mulligan’ with Holly are likewise $175 and $225 currently. Although I have never seen a photo of the “holly” golf bunnies, my guess is that the white pompom normally decorating the golf cap has probably been replaced by a holly sprig.
The blue-decorated version is Golf Bunny ‘Bogie’. As noted earlier, I haven’t confirmed whether this version was introduced in 1989 or not. Of course there is a Golf Bunny ‘Bogie’ with Holly version, and both are at the prices noted above.
The final golf bunny, for which I have no photo at all, is Golf Bunny ‘Bunkie’ who was eventually followed by Golf Bunny ‘Bunkie’ with Holly. Bunkie’s accessory/trim color is yellow. His exact issue year is unknown. It’s quite possible that all four original (non-holly) bunnies were issued in succession: Spring 1989, Fall 1989, Spring 1990 and Fall 1990 — or even all at the same time in 1989.
Bunnykins was also introduced in 1989, at $75 and is 3” high x 5.5” long. He/she is now on Cybis site for $99. Sculptures produced in 1989 will have the special stamp but others will not. The holiday version Bunnykins with Holly (introduction year unknown) is currently priced at $150; no Anniversary stamp on these.
Bunnykins in Brown was, like Snowflake in Brown shown earlier, available at the Cybis Studio during the early 1990s. Although I own all three special brown coloration bunnies which were bought from Cybis at the same time, unfortunately I have misplaced the original receipt! None of these have the 50th stamp.
I do not have a year for the 3” high Cuddles, although this bunny and the holiday version Cuddles with Holly both appear on the Cybis site at $99 and $150, respectively.
Bunny with Carrot was another 1989 introduction and thus some will have the 50th Anniversary backstamp. He is 5.75” high and is priced by Cybis at $195. He is extremely similar to the golf bunnies but is not the same mold. There’s also a size differential: the golf bunnies are listed at 5.5” high including their cap, and this bunny is listed at 5.75” without any headgear. But even if he is not from the identical mold, he certainly is a very close relative.
Cybis did include a bunny as a secondary element in one sculpture: Melissa, a young girl cradling a white rabbit in her arms. She can be seen in her retail and special-edition colorways in Pink and Blue.
The final entry in this rabbit retrospective is a real mystery, so I am going to call him the “Mystery Rabbit”. He is 6.5” high and about 6” long. I have only seen this one example and might have discounted it as actually being a Cybis except for the presence of a Cybis signature that appears genuine, the painting technique on the eyes which does match the others. On the minus side, confirmationwise, is the shape of the ears which seems a bit off compared to the others; also, the lack of any mold impressions. It’s possible that this was a study or test piece (the seller did mention that the surface felt “rougher” than that of Mr. Snowball who accompanied it) that never made the cut for retail release, which would explain the lack of copyright impressions but on the other hand, then why bother signing it Cybis if the design never left the workroom? It certainly was not a retail release from the 1960s, 1970s or early 1980s, and all of the mid-80s-and-later rabbits are still being offered by Cybis. So this is one befuddling bunny for sure!
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