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!

News

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!