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“Commonplace Toys”

A letter Gilbert wrote to “Santy Clause” concludes: “Please bring me whatever you think best. I don’t mean a spanking I mean some common place toys.” In fact, The Evergreens contains a far-from-commonplace collection of toys.
While most of the nursery’s items belonged to its last resident, Gib, all three Dickinson children played here. Framed pictures in the nursery include a scene from Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, and it is Ned’s name inscribed inside several of the family’s Dickens novels. The doll with clothes, miniature furniture, and tin dishes were likely first owned by Martha, while the small metal sword and sheath bear the initials T.G.D., for the youngest Dickinson.

Thomas Gilbert Dickinson to Santa Claus, Box 22, Folder 31, Martha Dickinson Bianchi Papers, Brown University Library.

Nursery with many worn toys, including a horse tricycle, marble run, and velocipede.