All dolled up for the holidays

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Sherrie Piens and Chris Ford hold some of the older dolls contained in Piens’ collection. The doll display is currently available for viewing at the Art and Heirloom Shoppe in Chatham.

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

No matter the era, the magic surrounding dolls never gets old.

Just ask Sherrie Piens. The Chatham resident has been collecting dolls for some 60 years and today, her private collection numbers more than 500 dolls.

To help celebrate the holidays, part of Piens’ collection was on display at the Art and Heirloom Shoppe in downtown Chatham. The sparkly display features a wide array of dolls ranging from elegant baby dolls – a scary Chucky–  as well as Barbies – including a few Ken dolls climbing up the Christmas tree.

“I thought it would be fun to have the dolls come out and play,” Piens said. “It’s nice to have other people come out and enjoy them.”

And they do. Chris Ford, one of the shop’s board members, said people coming into the store love seeing the dolls of yesteryear, noting the display carries a “wow” factor.

“Everybody who sees it really likes it,” Ford said.

Piens said she began collecting dolls when she was nine years old. Her collection got off the ground when her family’s landlady, a collector, bequeathed her a few boxes of dolls. She never looked back, with her collection now including dolls from the late 1800s, as well one of the first-ever Star Wars dolls.

Piens said the dolls have brought joy to many people, having been displayed at local nursing homes in the past.

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