Thursday, June 25, 2009

Peggy Nisbet



Because it was not until recently that I began gathering information about dolls and dollmakers, my knowledge is very limited. Where I currently live, I do not have access to English language books whether through a library or bookstore; so most of my data is gleaned from searching websites. In regards to Peggy Nisbet, she herself has written two books on the subject of her life and work: "The Peggy Nisbet Story" and "Peggy Nisbet Collector's Reference Book." I, however, have only this little bit to share....

The Nisbet company produced costume and portrait dolls during the time period ranging from the early 1950's on in to the late 1980's. Peggy Nisbet began making dolls in her home at Weston's Shrubbery in 1952. In 1953 she created a doll replica of Queen Elizabeth II wearing her coronation robes. It was very popular and started her business on the way to international recognition. Her factory was located in Weston-super-Mare (Somerset, England) until it burned to the ground in 1970 taking doll design data and patterns with it. Thankfully Ms. Nisbet and her production manager, Ms. Mabel Perry, were able to recreate most of their costume patterns from memory.

Peggy Nisbet's doll lines included Peggy Nisbet Costume Dolls, the Royal Doulton/House of Nisbet Dolls, & the House of Nisbet Vinyl Fashion Dolls. Some of her doll themes included American Presidents & First Ladies, Dolls of the World, and milestones in the lives of the Royal Family. She was known for immortalizing famous royals, film stars, and political figures as well as documenting traditional dress of countries around the world.

In 1975 Jack Wilson's Canadian Investment Company acquired control of Peggy Nisbet Ltd. and Jack Wilson became Chairman. (The company was then located in Winscombe, Avon, England). He changed the name to House of Nisbet Ltd., and introduced its Childhood Classics traditional teddy bears. Peggy Nisbet's daughter, Alison, designed this range. Later she and Wilson were married and carried on the Nisbet tradition. Dakin UK bought House of Nisbet in 1989.

One source stated that Peggy Nisbet passed away in May of 1996 while another recorded that she died in 1995 at the age of 86. I would appreciate any information related to this incredible woman's actual date of birth and death.

The above information was taken from the following websites:

http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/Leisure/news-20070724-dollcollection.htm?_Page=35
http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/wdp/lifestyle/Living-doll-s-house/article-1054573-detail/article.html
http://www.geocities.com/mrspayne223/nisbets.html
http://www.luckybears.com/encyclopaedia_nisbet.asp
http://www.achome.co.uk/antiques/instant_collections.htm
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/wsmfboldcodgers/history.htm

The doll pictured below is the only Peggy Nisbet which I currently possess. I believe her to represent the country of China.

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