Wax Dolls

The "1985 House of Nisbet Dolls, Bears & Books catalogue" tells us that doll historians regard the English as the originators of poured wax dolls, which at this time was an old industry that had virtually disappeared.

The House of Nisbet sought to revive this dying dollmakers' art, and the three models shown in this section are the result.

The poured wax components were made in the best traditions of antique wax dolls, and the House of Nisbet retained the services of doll historian and antique wax doll expert, Miss Faith Eaton, as a consultant on the project.   In addition, Miss Caroline Goodfellow, Doll Curator of the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood, (which is affiliated to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London), was on hand to offer valuable advice and guidance.

Faith Eaton, noted author, historian, collector and restorer of antique English Wax Dolls

Only three wax dolls were produced by the House of Nisbet : They are listed below, in the order they were introduced,  (not in numerical order!)

4001 - Mrs Peggy Nisbet

This eighteen inch portrait doll shows Mrs Peggy Nisbet, dressed in one of her formal gowns worn in the early 1950s, when she founded the company.   It was the first of three poured wax dolls made by the House of Nisbet

This impressive doll was introduced in 1985, and went on sale for £98.00

(Apologies for these poor quality images of this stunning doll - we plan a re-shoot in the near future)

4000 - Clementine Nisbet Wilson

This doll, the second in the wax doll series, shows Alison and Jack Wilson's daughter Clementine as an infant, dressed in Christening Robes made of pure silks and cottons, and finished in genuine old hand-made laces and trimmings.   Because of the difficulty in sourcing the old lace, no two costumes were identical

Issued in February 1985, Clementine went on sale for £98.00 

4002 - Queen Victoria

This ten inch high wax portrait doll of Queen Victoria was issued in January 1986.   She was the third, (and sadly, the last), poured wax doll made by the House of Nisbet, and sold for £69.00.   She was larger than the the eight inch porcelain version made for the Tower Treasures collection ten years earlier, but was otherwise very similar in design.   This doll was based on a portrait in the National Gallery


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!