Cybis did not produce nearly as many rose studies as Boehm or Connoisseur of Malvern but the ones they did create are well worth looking at.
The first Cybis rose was named simply Rose, is 5” high, and was made in several colorways. According to the 1979 catalog the white one was made only in 1964 and 1965 at $45. The pink, yellow, and red colorways were produced between 1964 (at $60) and 1969 (ending at $80.) [Some of the photos above unfortunately do not show the colors at their best.]
The Condesa Rose is 3.5” high x 6.5” long and was designed by Lynn Klockner Brown. The 1982 Cybis catalog lists this as having been made from 1981–1982 only, as Condesa Rose, Yellow. However…. a 1973 retail price list and brochure from Armstrong’s in California – one of the largest Cybis retailers at the time – lists “Yellow Contessa Rose” and “Pink Contessa Rose” as both being a “discontinued non-limited edition”! This would seem impossible, especially in view of the fact that neither the 1979 Cybis catalog nor the 1971 museum catalog Cybis in Retrospect mention a “Contessa” (or “Condesa”) rose at all. Was Armstrong’s referring to the mid-1960s roses above? If so, they must have had Doc Brown’s Delorean in the parking lot in order to come up with names that weren’t used by Cybis for a rose until almost a decade later!
In any event, a 1981-1982 Yellow Condesa Rose and Pink Condesa Rose certainly did exist, although their names are a bit misleading because both are more like white roses with a pale blush of color. Although often misspelled as “Contessa” the correct Cybis name is indeed Condesa. An artists proof of the Yellow Condesa was given to Queen Sofia of Spain in 1980, the year before the sculpture was introduced at retail.
To make things impossibly confusing (as if they aren’t already?) the 1980 merchandise catalog from Brielle Galleries, a major Cybis retailer, includes (with photos) the Yellow Condesa Rose and also the pink version but with the name Pink Parfait Rose instead of “Pink Condesa”! Both roses are identified as being 1980 issues and priced at $225. Obviously this means that (again assuming no time machine in the mix) the 1982 Cybis catalog issue date for these is a year ‘off.’ Thus the pink version can be known either as the Pink Condesa” or Pink Parfait… take your choice, apparantly.
Rosa Alba was another sculpture only produced in 1981 and 1982. It measures 3” x 7.75”. This open edition was only available in white (Rosa alba is Latin for “white rose”) as shown in the official Cybis photo. The second photo is of a sample/proof piece that was done in pink which may be one of a kind. It has the Cybis phoenix and copyright symbol as a mold impression but was not signed; supposedly it was given to one of the artists at the studio (which did happen with pieces having slight imperfections) and thus the Cybis signature was never applied. There is no indication that a pink version of “Rosa Alba” was ever offered for retail sale. The standard white version sold for $285.
Three single rose stems designed by Lynn Klockner Brown were introduced in the spring of 1982. Two pink and one yellow, they differed only in color and size.
The largest is Joy, a yellow rose blossom 2.25″ in diameter; the overall length is 4.75″. Issue price was $85.
The medium size rose is Tiffany which is 4″ long and 2″ in diameter. It sold for $75.
The smallest of the three rose stems was Pink Cameo at 3.75″ long and 1.75″ diameter, priced at $65.
The Single Pink Rose Stem from 1982 is approximately 5.25” long. Clearly this is the same design and so the bloom diameter is probably about 4″. This is the rose that was at used First Lady Nancy Reagan’s luncheon setting as seen in the third photo. Although the date of the luncheon is unknown, it would have been sometime between 1982 and 1989. Notice that in the White House version, thorns have been added to the stem, whereas the retail versions are thornless.
This study, Love Song, combines a hybrid tea rose with a spray of forsythia. Introduced in 1984, its declared edition of 100 (at $2450) was later reduced to only 50. The existence of at least one example with a base is perplexing; a 1984 advertisement does not show a base and gives the height as 6.5” but we’ve seen that Cybis stock photos are not necessarily reliable when it comes to whether or not the retail edition did or didn’t have a base (see the North American Indians.) However, two numbered editions – one with a base and one without – were sold at auction; one is #12 and the other is #35, so the with-base sculpture was not an artist proof. With the base this sculpture 8” high; the width of both versions is 10 inches.
This photo shows Cybis studio director Joseph Chorlton presenting a Love Song rose to the First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson.
The final rose items date from the late 1980s or later and all are open editions.
The American Rose was made in yellow (as shown), white, and pink. Issued in 1987, in it sold for $495 a year later. It measures 5.5” high and 6.5” wide, and is now priced by Cybis at $895.
The pink colorway is also offered as the Ribbon of Hope Rose (large) with the addition of a Mini Rose (shown below) and pink breast cancer awareness ribbon, at the same pricepoint of $895.
Holiday Rose with Holly from 1987 is 2.5” high x 5.5” wide. Originally $295, it is currently $395.
It was also made in a pink colorway as the Ribbon of Hope Rose (medium) but that colorway of this rose is now retired.
The smallest Cybis rose offered as an individual sculpture is the Mini Rose at about an inch high and 3” wide. Currently priced at $95 each, it is available in a white, yellow, or pink colorway (shown). At least for a time, these were supplied in a small red velvet “jewelers” type box, with the Cybis logo and trademarked phrase “Porcelains That Fire the Imagination” stamped on the inside of the lid.
Like the two other rose sizes, the mini was once made as the Ribbon of Hope Rose (small) by adding the pink ribbon to one leaf. Before retirement it was priced at $99. So the only currently available breast cancer rose edition is the American Rose version.
Cybis also used the Mini Rose to create a Pink Rose Stickpin as a dealer promotional item. The lace element is fabric, not porcelain.
There was also a limited edition Rose Plaque ‘Nature’s Beauty’ issued in 1987 at $1350 as an edition of 500. Measurements on a price list are given as 20″ high x 17″ wide, but no indication of whether or not this was a framed or unframed piece. I am extremely curious about what it may have looked like, so if anyone has a photo of this plaque, please let me know.
The other (non-rose) Cybis flowers appear in the next post.
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