Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we are often asked:

Q     Can you tell me how much my Peggy Nisbet Doll is worth?

A     We regret that we are unable to offer valuations for your dolls.   

Many factors can influence a doll's worth – these include the following considerations :

  • Age
  • Condition (especially cleanliness, and any signs of damage), 
  • Rarity (Henry VIII and his wives were among the most popular dolls Peggy made, and it is unlikely that any but the earliest Tower Walk dolls will attract a higher value)
  • Completeness (does it have its full costume, hat, wrist tag, original box, etc).  

The best way to get an idea of a doll’s current value is to look at what similar dolls are selling for in on-line auction sites.   Beware - these may not always be a reliable guide – We have seen a rare doll offered for sale, and making a very high price; within days, an identical doll only managed 15% of the sale price of the first doll!   In the final analysis, it all comes down to how much the bidders in an auction are willing to pay!

Q     I have a nisbet doll that isn't shown on your website.   Can you identify it for me?  

A     We have a large number of dolls that have not yet been photographed, and a lot of information to be added to the website, so there is a possibility that your doll may appear on the website at a later date.   However, we are always very happy to try and identify any unknown dolls.   Just send us a photograph, if you can, (photographs are best).   If that is not possible, a detailed description of the costume, is essential, (including the colour of the doll's hair), and we will do our best to find the doll's identity for you.   

Q     Can I still buy Peggy Nisbet Dolls?

A     Yes!   We are sure that by now, most collectors have discovered on-line auction houses – The most well-known of these has a huge presence on the internet, and is a great place to look for Nisbet dolls – a quick search will bring up hundreds of dolls for sale.   There are also some excellent specialist auction houses dealing exclusively in dolls and teddy bears, (as well as tinplate toys, Dinky and Matchbox cars, and trains etc).   Even if you can’t attend in person, most will take postal, telephone, or email commission bids – and will post to anywhere in the world!

Q     Are there any books about Peggy Nisbet dolls?

A     Peggy Nisbet often gets mentioned in books dealing with dolls on a general level, but there is only one book we know of that deals with her dolls exclusively - It is "The Peggy Nisbet Story", in which she tells of her career as a dollmaker.   The book was published in 1988, and although it has been out of print for some time now, your local library might well have a copy.   Alternatively, it can still be found for sale on the internet, in auction sites, and major on-line retailers like Amazon, and is a worthwhile purchase, if you can find a copy.   The most popular on-line auction site also occasionally has copies of old catalogues for sale, too, and these are a valuable source of information for the collector.

Take a look at our "Downloads" page - we have some doll listings and some Nisbet Doll Catalogues available for download, (including the "Peggy Nisbet Silver Jubilee Edition Collectors Reference Book 1977", which is a document that every Nisbet doll collector should own, and be able to refer to)

Q     Are Peggy Nisbet dolls still being made?

A     Sadly, they are not.   The Peggy Nisbet company was sold to Dakin in 1987, and was later obtained in 1988 by Diane Jones International.   They ceased trading in 1999, when their owners retired, and could not find anyone willing to continue the business.   Up until that time, a reduced range of high quality dolls, true to the Nisbet tradition of quality and craftsmanship, were still being manufactured by Diane Jones International, under the Nisbet name, which they owned.

Q     How should I look after my Nisbet dolls?

A     Protect them from dust, damp, and exposure to direct sunlight - and the extremely damaging effects of nicotine smoke.   The best way to enjoy them is to display them behind glass, away from direct (or reflected) sunlight.

Q     I have been given a Nisbet doll that is very dirty.   Would you advise cleaning it?   How should I do this?

A     Cleaning a doll is a specialist skill.   We do NOT advocate any attempt at cleaning a doll, no matter how soiled it is.  

However, and entirely at our own risk and discretion, we have given heavily soiled dolls in our collection a light dusting with a very soft artist's paintbrush, and have also used a cotton bud moistened with plain tap water, then squeezed almost dry with a towel, to wipe dirt and grime from the face and hands of the doll.   We NEVER use solvents or detergents , as these can stain or attack the plastic of the doll, and can cause damage to a wide range of fabrics.   Do NOT be tempted to unpick  the costume from the doll in order to wash it - The different fabrics used in its construction may bleed colours into each other, and the trimmings may disintegrate, causing irreparable damage to the garment.   We have, on rare occasions, given the badly creased dress of a not-too-valuable doll a light press, using a clean, dry cotton cloth, and a steam iron - but this could damage fragile materials like chiffon, or crush the pile of velvet, so must only ever be done at the owner's discretion.   

DISCLAIMER : ANY CLEANING OF A DOLL IS UNDERTAKEN ENTIRELY AT THE OWNER'S RISK! will not be held responsible for any damage caused to a doll by any attempt to clean it.


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, (, 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!