Special Collectors Set 15

The Merry Monarch

Limited to 500 sets - Issued in 1978

King Chares II’s return to England from exile abroad signalled an end to the austerity of Oliver Cromwell's rule.  His love of life, (and many women), endeared him to his fellow countrymen, and earned him the sobriquet “The Merry Monarch”.  The doll shown above is Sample no. 1.

The story of Nell Gwyn must be known to everyone – from Orange seller, to actress, to Mistress to the King! Nell was a favourite of Charles, and the only one of his mistresses who truly loved him.   Nell was also a great favourite of Peggy Nisbet, who modelled many versions of this popular character.   The doll shown in this group is similar to the one on the Certificate - but there is another version, in a green dress.  Her picture is shown in the slideshow below.

The Countess of Castlemaine, Barbara Villiers, was from a noble family, and considered to be among the most beautiful women of her age.   Of her six children, Charles freely acknowledged five as his own.   She was famously extravagant, and notorious for her habit of dipping into the Privy Purse.

The Duchess of Portsmouth, Louise de Kérouaille, was the daughter of a French nobleman from Brittany.   She had a childish beauty, and languorous nature, but was very clever and strong willed.   Her notorious rapacity made her hated in England.   Nell Gwyn, with typical earthy wit, referred to her as “Squintabella”, in reference to her “lazy” eye.  The doll shown here is a Finishing Sample, used to demonstrate to the factory and outworkers exactly how the completed doll should look.

The complete set consisted of the following four dolls :

  • LE/83 - King Charles II
  • LE/84 - Nell Gwynn
  • LE/85 - Countess of Castlemaine, Barbara Villiers
  • LE/86 - Duchess of Portsmouth, Louise de Kérouaille

The slideshow below displays the entire "Merry Monarch" doll collection

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!