A woman’s love of dolls
February 16, 2007

A woman’s love of dolls

If someone were to offer me a $1000 or one doll I would choose the doll”

While some people may think that collecting Barbies and other types of dolls is a hobby for children; this view is not shared by Ava Richards who is in her late forties and is still increasing her doll collection.

Almost every nook and cranny of the upper floor of Ava’s North River Road home is filled with her cherished dolls. At present three beds and several dressing tables are filled to overflowing with dolls of all types and sizes. Every little space that is available is used as a home for the dolls and she even has to store some of the dolls in her suitcases and other bags.{{more}}

Reminiscing on her past, Ava remembers getting her first dolls from the late Hudson Tannis, a former lawyer and politician who gave her a Robin Hood doll and a Tom with the Pig, which she still has in her collection today.

According to Ava, her love for dolls came about as a result of being the only child living with her parents when she was growing up. She said all her siblings were much older and were residing overseas. She would therefore use the dolls to play with during her free time.

“My father spoiled me into loving dolls and jewels, he used to tell me if I want 10 dolls the same time he will buy them for me,” she stated.

She however stated that over 10 years ago while she was in Barbados, persons broke into her house and stole most of the dolls that she left here, and it took her a long time to get over her losses.

“It took me a long time to overcome the loss, but a good friend Rosie Derrick who is living overseas sent me a collection of 50 Barbie and Ken dolls and that is when I decided to restart my collection,” she added.

Today, Ava’s collection ranges from 18th century dolls to modern day dolls, and has grown once again to an estimated 1000 dolls. Her favourite dolls are the black Barbies, which according to Ava resemble her a lot, and despite the fact that she owns many dolls, each one has his or her own name which she remembers by heart.

Ava gives her dolls regular baths and washes and combs their hair so that they would last a long time. Rather than using grease in their hair she uses a spray so that their hair stays fresh and clean. For the Christmas holidays all the dolls were outfitted in special evening wear dresses which Ava only took off last Saturday to be washed and put away.

Despite the many dolls that she may have in her collection, Ava has the ability to tell if one of her dolls is missing and whether someone was playing with any one of them.

“If someone were to offer me a $1000 for one doll I would choose the doll because I wouldn’t be as happy with the money as I would be with the doll,” she stated.

Because of her love for the dolls, Ava’s wish is to have all of her dolls buried with her when she dies.

She is the daughter of the late renowned educator Bertram “Timmy” Richards who was the former headmaster of the Intermediate High School.