Making the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Doll

Peter Nisbet's Drawing of the first doll

In 1953, Peggy decided to make a figure of Elizabeth II, ready to commemorate the forthcoming Coronation of the new Queen.   In her book, "The Peggy Nisbet Story, she explained "The vision which had gradually become clearer in my mind, was to make a Coronation doll in English bone china bisque, with the hem of the skirt forming the base of the figure.   I then wanted to dress this figure in a silk underskirt, a silk or brocade gown and the purple coronation robe.   I aimed to make between 200 and 300, which was the maximum it seemed possible to achieve in the limited time available before the Coronation".

Before producing the doll, Peggy had to seek permission from The Lord Chamberlain.    After several visits to his office, permission was granted.   Peggy carried out research in libraries, museums and art galleries, where information could be obtained on robes worn at previous Coronations.   Her son, Peter, produced the early drawings of the doll, (shown here).   Materials were bought, and the dress and robes made.   Peggy needed miniature replicas of the crown, orb and sceptre, and turned to C G Oxley & Co, a local Weston manufacturing jeweller, who was able to produce them.

Peggy took the model to Harrods of London, who liked it, and ordered as many as could be made. The first order for 350 dolls was dispatched to Harrods just a few weeks before the Coronation.   The cost of making this doll in 1953 was £10; they are worth a lot more today.

Peggy's son, Peter, recalls taking the Elizabeth II Coronation doll to America, where they were quite a sensation.   Back home, the story made the front cover of the Daily Sketch newspaper, along with a photograph of the doll.


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!