Nisbet "Homers"

"Homers" is a term we first heard from one of the past owners of the Peggy Nisbet brand.   He explained it as a generic name for Nisbet doll bodies that had been dressed in a mixture of odd parts taken from genuine Nisbet costumes, to produce a doll that was a figment of the creator's imagination.

The name "Homer" was derived from the source of most of these dolls - the vast army of Peggy Nisbet's Outworkers, (otherwise known as "Homeworkers").   Sometimes, there would be an extra doll body, or parts of costume, trimmings, or scraps of material left over from the completion of a batch of dolls.   Homeworkers would place these aside, and very occasionally, a doll might be put together for a child or grandchild - or just to amuse the worker - and so another Homer was born!

"Homers" can be very difficult to spot, because the doll and clothing is generally authentic.   Unfortunately, we can't offer hard and fast rules for spotting these Faux Nisbets - you will have to learn them for yourselves.   A good place to start is with your own dolls - they will most likely be genuine, especially if tagged, but a Homer lacks that indefinable something - that touch of Nisbet magic that makes them shine out as the real thing!   The giveaway to their origin is, (like the Devil), in the detail!

How can you tell if your suspect doll is a Homer?   It's not easy - We have been caught out a few times!   Here are a few pictures of a "Homer" Can-Can dancer, to show you what sort of detail to look out for

N/120 Can-Can Dancer

Watch the slideshow above, and see if you can tell which doll is the "Homer" - and why!   (Here's a clue - the two dolls wearing pink are the genuine Nisbets!)

  • The skirts of the pink dolls are long, full, and underlined with lots of lace petticoats.   By comparison, the dress of the blue doll is far too short for a Can-Can girl, and the lace petticoats are mean, by comparison.
  • The bodice of both pink dolls is tailored to give a smooth and close fitting effect.   The blue doll's bodice is poorly fitting, and wrinkled.
  • The shoulder straps on the pink dolls are properly spaced, well fitted, and sit nicely.   The blue doll's shoulder straps are unequal in length, and poorly fitted
  • The pink dolls are dressed in a silky material - the blue doll is dressed in velvet - not the first choice for a dancer performing the energetic Can-Can!
  • Peggy Nisbet's dolls were renowned for their well researched and authentic costumes.   Peggy's Can-Can dancers all wore stockings - the blue dancer doesn't
  • Finally, look at the headgear these dolls are wearing.   The pink dancers have tiny feathered berets, tied under their chins.   The blue doll is wearing a very large fur hat, which is totally unsuitable wear for such a vigorous dance as the Can-Can.

When we obtained the blue dancer, we thought she was genuine - but as our knowledge grew, we realised she was much less than a Nisbet Can-Can dancer should be!   Experience is a wonderful thing, and perhaps our mistakes explained will prevent you from following in our footsteps!


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