The Peggy Nisbet company was known primarily for its ranges of "costume dolls".
Focusing on things like traditional national costumes and UK Royalty.And always with an eye to accuracy and authenticity.
But,at the beginning of the 1970's,it also started to broaden out by producing some small ranges of soft toys,specifically for children.
Based on the asssumption that their costume dolls were as much for adult collectors as they were for youngsters.
The first confirmed evidence of anything Herbal came in the 1971 catalogue,under the category heading of "BBC Watch With Mother characters".
4 different toys were listed - "Parsley" .... "Dill" .... "Sage" .... and a "Mini-Parsley".
And they were also accompanied by 4 others from "The Pogles" [ Pogles wiki ]
The Herbs and The Adventures of Parsley
On this page ..... Some early 1970's soft toys by Peggy Nisbet.
The Parsley and Dill examples are both about 11" high x 6" wide.
And are made from a printed and stitched cotton-like fabric stretched over a soft filling.
They did well enough to still be featured in the 1973 edition -minus "Mini-Parsley",which had disappeared.
And as I've not been able to find the previous year's edition I don't know if it was discontinued in 72 or 73.
In fact I've yet to see any evidence of what it actually looked like.
And the other 3 aren't exactly "ubiquitous" either.Because the photos are the only ones of those I've ever seen too -despite their obvious advantage of being catalogued for longer [at least 3 years.]
So,if we take it as read that survivors are genuinely thin-on-the-ground,then it's probably a bit surprising that the Dill one only fetched £89 when it sold on ebay in Sept.2015.
And whilst that could be due to all sorts of things,I cant help thinking that if Nisbet collectors valued the soft toys as much as the custom dolls then it would've done better.
But maybe they do and that's simply what it was worth. Who knows ?
In the meantime,the hunt continues for a 1st sighting of the "Mini-Parsley",as well as some definitive confirmation about when the range officially started and finished.
Unfortunately,the catalogues are no help with regard to photos.
In fact it's a bit of a misnomer to call them "catalogues" at all really.As they were basically just lists of products names,with a few token b&w photos -certainly for the years that we're interested in.
And the custom dolls were not only the sole beneficiaries of those pics,but also the only ones to be given individual reference numbers.
Which all adds to the impression that the early soft toys were very much a toe-in-the-water experiment.
Anyhow,let's end on a positive note.
And possibly saving the best till last too,with a look at Sage .... photo courtesy of Tony Clark.