Helmets are usually associated with the Military, and also with various professions, such as the Police.   They are designed to protect the head, and sometimes the neck of the wearer from injury, are normally rigid, and offer protection from blows.  

Nowadays, helmets of the sort worn by the Nisbet dolls shown here are only ever seen in a ceremonial capacity, with one exception, who is the British Policeman, or Bobby.

In this section, we will see how Nisbet dolls were dressed to represent these individuals

This splendid Corinthian helmet is worn by one of the rarest Nisbet dolls we know of - She is P/776 Britannia, the iconic figure who gave her name to the British Isles, and the Britons, its inhabitants.   Viewed as the personification of Britain, Britannia was depicted as a warrior queen, armed with helmet, shield, and trident.  (Britannia is the ancient name for Roman Britain, which encompassed Albion, (England), and Caledonia, (Scotland); in more recent times, it came to signify the four nations that make up the British Isles we know today - England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland)

The pictures above show some of the splendid helmets to be found adorning the heads of a selection of Nisbet military men.

All the helmets shown here are made from thin plastic.   With the exception of the top two pictures, which show painted helmets, the rest have been metal plated to simulate the polished steel finish of the genuine items

The four pictures here all show helmets made of rubber.   The helmet of the Officer of the Queen's Royal Lancers has been painted with gold paint, to make it resemble the brass decoration seen on the original, and the feather plumes complete the whole.   Unfortunately, rubber, being an organic material, will slowly oxidise, and dry out, when it will be inclined to shrink and crack, (as seen on the white helmet of T/107, George the Marine Drummer Boy).   George must be half a century old, so with care, he should survive for another 50 years, or even longer, with his uniform intact.

The Bearskin

You will be relieved to know that Nisbet's Bearskins are made from a synthetic fur material, and in some dolls, may carry a plume of red, or red and white at the side.   The Bearskin is an 18 inch tall fur cap, weighing 1.5 pounds.   The Standard Bearskin of the Guards and other regiments is made from the fur of the Canadian Black Bear; an Officer's Bearskin is made from the skin of a female Canadian Brown Bear, which is thicker and fuller, and which has been dyed black.   

(The Bearskin must never be confused with a Busby, which is a cylindrical fur cap, having a bag of coloured cloth hanging from the top.   The end of this bag was attached to the right shoulder, as a defence against sabre cuts.   Today, Busbys are worn by The Royal Horse Artillery, and the Hussars.)


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!