Know Your Nisbet

What makes a Nisbet a Nisbet?

Tower Walk H/218 King Henry VIII

Sometimes, it is not easy to decide if a doll really is a Peggy Nisbet.   Perhaps you only have a photograph on an internet auction website to look at; Perhaps you purchased a doll sold in good faith as a Peggy Nisbet, and now you see it alongside your Nisbet collection, you have niggling doubts.   How can you be sure?

Over the years, we have purchased a number of very nice dolls that looked a bit like, (but turned out not to be), genuine Nisbet dolls.

This section is designed to help collectors identify the key features that mark a Nisbet doll as distinct from many other, (and, it has to be admitted,) equally excellent doll families.

What good is the name of a new Nisbet doll, if you have never seen a picture of it before?   How can you tell if it is a genuine Nisbet?  Here, we will try and provide pointers that will allow the collector to establish, with a high degree of certainty, that a previously unseen or unknown doll is, in fact, a Nisbet creation, and along the way, provide lots of snippets of information that we hope will prove to be interesting and useful to the collector.

Is it possible to define the Nisbet magic, that secret essence that sets these dolls apart from all others?   We think that this questions can only really be answered by experience - time spent looking at genuine Nisbet dolls, or reading all the catalogues, to get a feel for the type of character that Peggy Nisbet loved to make; Time spent in examination of the techniques and materials that went into their creation; Time spent looking at the materials and fabrics used, the trimmings, lace, hats, footwear, and accessories, etc.

We realise that many collectors, (and would-be collectors), haven't the opportunity or resources available to them to devote to this study, and in any case, the sort of information they really need just isn't available to them - For instance, there is only one book that deals exclusively with Peggy Nisbet's life and work as a dollmaker*, and although still of huge interest to the collector, it answers relatively few of these questions.   *(look at Home Page / Frequently Asked Questions for details of the book, "The Peggy Nisbet Story")   Even this worthy volume doesn't offer a complete and named photographic listing of the dolls that Nisbet made.  

That omission was, (in part), one of the reasons we felt this section might be of interest to Nisbet collectors.  

On the right of this pane are a few of the key points and identifiers that will help you to establish the authenticity (or not) of the suspect dolls in your collection

We hope that you will find these pages of interest and value, but they are still a work in progress, and as such will continue to be added to and revised, as time allows.


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