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