Porcelain Dolls

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.

Sunday's Boy "Healcraft" porcelain head, showing "PN Shield" logo
Black "Book" Tag, as sued on the Nisbet "Healcraft" series dolls

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
The Royal Doulton Nisbet tag, used on the later Royal Doulton porcelain head dolls

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

What day of the week were you born on? Use this chart to calculate your day of birth!
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


31st October 2015

New updates added - We have added a new page on the Isle of Wight dolls, which were produced for the Liliput doll Museum, on the Isle of Wight.   These dolls have mystified us for some time, but an opportunity to do some research through the archives, an email from Graham Munday, (owner of the Lilliput Doll Museum), and an email chat with author and Shallowpool Dolls expert sue Brewer, have allowed a partial reconstruction of their fascinating story.   There are still some gaps in our knowledge, so if you can fill in any of the missing details for us, please do get in touch!

19th September 2015

New updates added - Our thanks to correspondent David H, who has sent us two interesting pictures - The first is of a very rare Nisbet First Doll.   This is the doll that started Peggy Nisbet's dollmaking career, and you can read all about her on this page : dolls/special-collectors-sets-limited-and-signature-editions/SCE-P1953 Replica Edition of the First Nisbet Doll.  David's picture of his original first Nisbet is shown below the article on the replica doll, and below that, is shown a unique 18" porcelain doll that also shows the Queen in Coronation robes, and was used in displays and exhibitions.   This doll is also shown in the book, "The Peggy Nisbet Story".  Other updates added today are the BOAC and BEA dolls, Madam Tussaud Dolls, Wax Dolls, and a Porcelain statuette issued as a tribute to Peter Bull, which is shown under Dolls/Porcelain Dolls/Irish Dresden - Tribute to the Late Peter Bull

12th September 2015

New updates added - Apologies to all our visitors for the long delay in adding some updates and new information - we hope that the items listed below will be of interest!   Many kind thanks to numerous correspondents, for their kind offers of pictues and other information, to fill in the gaps in various galleries :  To Barbara T, for her stunning pictures of H/214 - Queen Elizabeth I, wearing a rubber crown.   Pictures appear in Historical Gallery 1, and in "Know your Nisbets/Headgear/Crowns".   Frank T sent two excellent pictures of Vera Evelyn Samuel, and you can see the pictures and read all about her here - "Porcelain Dolls/Doulton Nisbet".   Penny D has sent in some pictures of her magnificent early P/618 - Robbie Burns - See him in Portrait Dolls Gallery 1.   We have used another of Keith P's pictures in a new gallery just added - "Know your Nisbet/Body shape and pose".   Finally, we have added a new page on Walt Disney dolls, which may come as something of a surprise to many collectors, as the dolls are not typically Nisbet in appearance!


3rd January 2015


Exciting New updates added for 2015 - Correspondent Michael A contacted us last year to ask about his mother's "Beatles" Nisbet dolls - Collectors of long standing may have heard of this almost legendary set of dolls - Thanks to Michael, you can now learn all about them here : /dolls/the-dolls-that-never-were/the-beatles/   

A recent contact from author Ian Price, who writes for the "Fashion Dolls Quarterly" magazine, (www.fdqmedia.com), enquired about Nisbet's Christmas themed dolls - We were delighted to assist his researches in compiling this article on Peggy Nisbet's "Legends of Christmas" dolls.   Ian has very kindly allowed us to make a copy of this article available for download - Please go to the Downloads/Miscellaneous/ page, and click on the link to "Styling Santa", by Ian Price, to see the article.



Thank you for stopping by to browse, or for making contact with us - We hope the website will prove to be of use and interest to you!