Some collections take a lifetime to amass. And others, like the one belonging to Bournemouth collector Violet Ashley, take just a few months.

But what a few months. Ever since she decided early last year that she was going to focus on items connected to Native American culture, Mrs Ashley has festooned her flat with statuettes, plaques, dreamcatchers, tomahawks, representational headdresses and plates depicting her two favourite images: wolves and Native Americans.

“After my mum passed away 16 years ago she left me a bit of money and I wondered what could do with it so I collected Chinese things for a while but I haven’t got those things now,” she says.

“I was watching a programme on the telly about wolves in the mountains of America and I thought why don’t I start collecting things to do with them?”

She started trawling local charity shops and had some early success.

“One was selling all these china plates with pictures of native Americans and wolves on them,” she says.

“I bought them all and he gave me a little discount. After that I was hooked.”

She snapped up a wolf statuette for £4 and one of two bald eagles. She also sent off to a specialist maker for many of her other items, including the faux-headdresses and tomahawks and found her ‘Soul Mates’ wolf plaque in yet another charity store.

Her dream catchers have come from a Native American who told her that in his culture wolves are seen as strong and protectors.

“He told me that when they howl at the moon they are just trying to communicate with the rest of their pack and the other wolves,” she says. “I do feel that they protect you.”

So far Violet has accumulated 13 plates, 25 dreamcatchers and a number of statues. Her favourite is the swooping bald eagle she bought from a catalogue, although she has her eye on a praying Native American which could become her biggest piece.

“He’s ten inches tall.”

What she would really like to own, however, is her own wigwam. “Just a small one that would fit in here,” she says.

“And maybe a real wolf.”