The Franklin Mint Cybis Cat (and Egg)

It’s fairly common when doing a online-venue search for Cybis to see results for ‘Franklin Mint Cybis cat’, which is a grey-and-white blue-eyed cat with pink bows and highlights. Sometimes (but not always) the figurine still has its original “Crafted in Malaysia” paper sticker on the underside which of course is a clear indication that this cat was not actually made by Cybis. The Cybis name does not appear anywhere on the figurine and there are no permanent marks except for a copyright symbol followed by the letters TFM to indicate The Franklin Mint.

Franklin Mint Cybis style Curio CatDuring the mid-to-late 1980s the Franklin Mint issued a series of “Curio Cabinet Cat” figurines, each of which was created in the style of a specific material, technique, or brand. Included with each cat was a small booklet entitled “(whatever) Style” explaining the history of the material, etc., that the figurine represented. For example, the Belleek Style cat has a white body with a bright green design of clover leaves on the back and hindquarters, and a glazed finish; the Cinnabar Style cat is the typical dark red color, has a deeply carved matte surface, and is quite Oriental in feeling; the Delft Style cat is a decorative blue on white, and so on. The Cybis Style cat is indeed typical of the cats that Cybis produced which were done in unglazed porcelain with soft or muted pastel color(s).

Other cat figurines in the Curio Cats series were: 18th Century German, American Pewter, Animalier, Art Deco (in two versions: a sitting bronze cat and a walking golden cat) , Art Nouveau, Belleek, Black Basalt, Blanc de Chine, , Bootscraper (obviously for very tiny boots!) , Chalkware, Ching Dynasty Jade, Cinnabar, Cobalt Blue Glass, Crystal Clear, Cut Crystal, Delft, Egyptian (in two colorations: black and bronze) , Faience, Famille Rose, Frosted Glass, Han Dynasty, Herend, Imari, Kakeimon, Limoges, Luster Glaze, Netsuke, Parian, Pink Alabaster, Porcelain Lace, Ruby Glass, Satsuma, Staffordshire, Valencia – which from its appearance really should have been called Lladro Style but it is possible that Lladro did not give permission to TFM to use their name – and Vienna Bronze.

The Franklin Mint also created a Cybis-style decorative egg as part of their “Collectors Treasury of Eggs” series.

FRANKLIN MINT CYBIS STYLE EGG at capecodgypsy on Etsy

Just like the cat, the Franklin Mint egg was not made by Cybis; shown on this example is its original ‘Crafted in Thailand’ sticker. These are stamped FM instead of TFM.

underside of Franklin Mint Cybis style egg

However, Cybis was indeed producing a similarly shaped blue-on-bisque porcelain egg of their own at the same time as part of their own decorative egg collection. This egg was introduced in 1986 and produced only for that one year; the Franklin Mint egg was issued in 1988, so they did not “overlap” in the marketplace.

Cybis did produce a range of decorative eggs, and also a number of cat studies as well; follow their links to the posts on my separate Cybis Reference Archive site if you’d like to see them all.


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