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


21st September 2023


Important Announcement


My dear wife, Christine, passed away on the 8th December, 2021after 8 weeks in hospital. I was by her side, when she slipped away from me peacefully, with no pain or suffering.


Chris had been struggling with a slow decline in health, associated with a progressive, untreatable, and ultimately terminal lung disease, and finally succumbed to her old adversary, Pneumonia.


We had been friends for 55 years, together as a couple for 50 years, and married just a month short of 48 years, when she died.   


This website was Chris's idea, and I did all the technical stuff, to make it work.   After news of Chris's passing reached her close friends in the doll collecting world, I was deeply touched and gratified to hear their tributes to my dear wife, and I must thank them all for their kindness and support.   Ultimately, it was her doll friends that gave me the courage to continue with the website.


In the months before her eventual hospitalisation, Chris had outlined a number of additions and changes she wanted to make to the website, and it is my intention to honour those wishes, and to implement the changes we had considered, over the coming weeks and months.


I must apologise to all those who have written to us via the website, only to have your emails go unanswered.   Unfortunately, the email system had been hacked aroung the time Chris was going into hospital, and many emails must have been lost, as a result.


As you might imagine, I felt completely broken by Chris's loss, and it is only now, almost 22 months after her passing, that I have felt strong enough to even look at the website again.   


My aim is to continue with the website, and to implement Chris's aims for her many new ideas as soon as I can.   In the meantime, I have hopefully got the email system sorted out, and I will attempt to answer any enquiries as soon as I can, and to send replies with the same high degree of accuracy that a reply from Chris would have had.


From now on, I will be flying solo, whilst my co-pilot and guide will be soaring much higher, (though she is always in my heart, and in my thoughts).


My thanks to all our website visitors for your continued support


Dave (also known as Arthur), and Chris, (my lost love, Guinevere)


Christine Poulten

25th December 1949 - 8th December 2021