I found an article in an old French technical magazine La Nature from 1898 about a shoeshine boy made by Martin.
This piece is put in motion by a clockwork mechanism
It was first made in 1898
light approx 13,5 cm ( 5.31 inch)
Fernand Martin number 167
Free translation from the text above:
SMALL INVENTIONS ‘
The little cleaner.
This is a very fun toy that adds to many others that we have already mentioned.
it is a small cleaner, one knee on the ground, holding a boot in one hand and a brush in the other.
Let us reassemble the mechanism, and we immediately see the brush stir vigorously, go forward, come back, and scrub the boot very conscientiously at each turn.
The movements are so natural and so well executed that they capture and surprise, and in spite of yourself we contemplate the little cleaner at work.
This little toy was sold on the boulevards in Paris by hawkers, we will soon find it at the same address.
The footstool is marked on both sides.
All postcards from my own collecion