Victorian Birthday Dolls
The range of Victorian Birthday Dolls were made in response to the old rhyme that many will recall, said to predict a child's personality and prospects in life, depending on the day they were born :
Monday’s child is fair of face
Tuesday’s child is full of grace
Wednesday’s child is full of woe
Thursday’s child has far to go
Friday’s child is loving and giving
Saturday’s child works hard for a living
But a child that is born on the Sabbath day
is bonny and blithe, and good, and gay
The first dolls, issued from 1980, had bisque porcelain heads made by Healcraft, a Stoke-on-Trent pottery. They were given model numbers as follows :
- Monday's Girl - V850, and Monday's Boy V851, through to
- Sunday's Girl - V862, and Sunday's Boy V 863
Each doll has a mark on the back of the neck, as seen in the example below - He is "Sunday's Boy", and this series of dolls all had the standard black "book tag" familiar to Nisbet collectors.
Dolls issued from 1983 onwards had Doulton Nisbet Bone China heads, and were given alternative model numbers - they also had a different wrist tag :
- Monday's Girl - 7590 and Monday's Boy - 7570, through to
- Sunday's Girl - 7602 and Sunday's Boy - 7582
As shown here, the dolls were constructed on a cloth body, with the porcelain head being sewn on, as can be seen in the undressed "Saturday's Girl" below. Nisbet produced the bodies, attached the heads, and dressed the dolls.
Note how the arms are secured at the shoulder with a button, to allow some freedom of movement. This would have made dressing the doll easier, and allowed some flexibility when posing the doll, for display
Day of Birth Calculator.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [85.2 KB]
The slideshow below displays the entire collection of “Victorian Birthday” dolls
Please note that Tuesday's Girl is a prototype doll, and has a glazed face - the production doll had an unglazed face, and was modelled in keeping with the rest of the range.
Saturday's Girl is said to have been modelled from a photograph of Peggy Nisbet as a child - She certainly did work hard for a living!
(17th August 2014 - Our thanks to Richard T for his questions about these dolls - His queries weren't covered by the original content of this page, hence the current update!)
The doll pictures will auto run as a slide show in the window above.
Press F5 (function key 5 on your keyboard), to re-start the slide show.
Alternatively, you may control the slideshow manually – follow the steps below :
- Place the cursor at the bottom of the window to access thumbnail and navigation control bar
- Click on the “?” (question mark) symbol (bottom left hand side of the control bar) for a detailed explanation of the controls
- See a full screen slideshow by clicking on the “Square with Arrow” symbol (2nd from right on the control bar)
- Use the keyboard arrow keys to move forward and back through the slideshow, as desired
- Use the “ESC” key to leave full screen mode