About this website
We aren't clever enough to understand why people have an urge to collect, but we recognise that it is a basic, and even primal human urge. People the world over collect things - coins, books, cacti, stamps, mineral specimens, china pigs, sporting memorabilia . . . The list is endless. Our fascination is with Peggy Nisbet's wonderful dolls.
Over the years, as our collection grew, it was soon too big to fit into our display cabinets - and much of it is now neatly packed away. Wrapped in tissue, and safe in plastic crates. Hidden in cupboards. Mostly unseen.
This set us thinking.
Isn't it a bit greedy to have a collection that is so big that you can't display more than a small part of it at a time? Isn't it also a little selfish? We felt like a couple of Tolkien's dragons, guarding our secret hoard of Nisbet treasure, now grown so big that even we couldn't be sure of what we owned!
We had, in our researches, spent some time in the Somerset town of Weston-super-Mare, where Peggy Nisbet lived and worked, and had her dollmaking business. The North Somerset Museum, (formerly the Woodspring Museum), had a very nice collection of Nisbet dolls on show, but each time we visited, it was always the same - frozen in time. Then, on a visit in 2003, the main part of the museum had been filled with lots of new displays, showing many more Nisbet dolls than previously.
Nisbet enthusiast Janet M, had the excellent idea of offering her collection of dolls to the museum for a temporary exhibition, to mark the 50th Anniversary of Peggy Nisbet's debut as a dollmaker.
We were very impressed.
Janet had found a great way to showcase the world of Nisbet dolls, celebrate the anniversary, and share her collection with a wider audience.
Perhaps this was something we could do, too.
A chat about our interest in Nisbet dolls with the Museum Curator resulted in us being invited, (along with a number of other collectors), to bring some dolls to a "Nisbet Doll Day", in the late autumn of that year. (Other collectors attending included Janet M, and Sue Brewer, the well known author of many books on various doll subjects, who had a particular interest in Nisbet Vinyl dolls).
Liz, our curator friend, was excited by the range and variety of the dolls we had brought along, and we were offered the chance to mount a temporary exhibit the following year, showcasing Prototypes, Samples, and Rarities. In 2004, we staged our first exhibition.
Over the next five years, we were privileged to work with the Curator and staff of North Somerset Museum, and by the time we had to stop, (Due to Arthur's work and travel commitments), we had been able to stage 6 exhibitions, which ran from June 2004 to May 2010.
We look back on those times and exhibitions with a great deal of fondness and affection - Not least because of the warm and friendly welcome we recieved from the Museum staff, and for the friends we made there.
Once work on the exhibitions had stopped, we realised there was a little gap in our agenda. But how to fill it? We had toyed with the idea of perhaps producing a book about the dolls, but eventually, the idea of a website emerged. Not being very computer savvy, it took us a while to understand how it would work, and to get to grips with all the technical stuff, but eventually, we got it all together - and here it is!
We feel that an unseen collection is a sterile and dead thing, and firmly believe that the real joy of owning a collection is in the sharing of it. This website allows us to offer our Nisbet dolls for all to see, wherever they are in the world.
We hope you will enjoy sharing this on-line display with us - It's not complete, (and may never be so), but if you have a doll not shown here, or can correct any mistakes you see, please do tell us! We hope this website will become the only resource that any Peggy Nisbet doll collector (or seller) will ever need to refer to, for research, identification, and understanding the history of their dolls.
But we can't do it by ourselves - if you can offer any information that might be of interest to other Nisbet collectors, please do get in touch!
Most of all, we hope that your visit here is enjoyable and informative, and that you come back soon!