Overview of a 1908 gift to the Musée des arts et métiers

As is known, in 1908 Fernand Martin made a donation to the museum Cnum in Paris in the form of 100 toys as an overview of his (almost) total production from the beginning of his first piece.

The museum has divided the original enumeration over a number of sections, I have returned it in the overview below to the original numbering as Martin wrote it down. This list is also published in the toy book of Mary Hiller Automata & Machanical Toys from 1976

In 1960, the museum Cnum (Bibliothèque numérique en histoire des sciences et des techniques) made a publication about toys with a chapter about this gift, (all rights reserved – CNAM)

At the end of this overview there are also three pieces that belong to the collection of the Museum but that do not belong to the gift.

Link to the release: https://cnum.cnam.fr/CGI/fpage.cgi?M6136/0002/100/70/0009/0066

Rights reserved – CNAM

See the overvieuw of the Fernand Martin toys in this publication from page 63 up to and including page 66.

Overvieuw gift from Fernand Martin in 1908, a total of 100 toys original numbering as Martin wrote it down:

Date. — Name and number on the gift

1878. — Le poisson mécanique  1

This fish is the first toy of Fernand Martin

1879. — La balançoire mécanique  2

1880. — Le bateau godilleur   3

1881. — La grenouille nageuse  4

1882. — Le patin mécanique  5

1803. — Le moulin mécanique à tic-tac   6

1883. — la locomotive routière  7

1883. — Les forgerons infatigables   8 

1884. — Le cheval bascule  9  

1884. —  Le vélocipède  10

1885. — Le trapèze   11

1885. — Le sonneur endiablé   12

1885. — Les valseurs   13

1886. — Les courageux scieurs de long   14

1886. — La danseuse de corde   15

1887. — les fameux duellistes   16

1887. — Les pompiers   17

1888. — Le Livreur 18

1888. — Les joyeux danseurs  19

1888. — L’autruche   20

1889. — La grosse caisse  21

1889. — L’écrevisse   22

1889. — Le fauteuil roulant de l’exposition  23

1889. — Le pousse-pousse annamite de l’exposition   24

1889. — La grosse caisse annamite de l’exposition  25

1889. — Le cab  26

1890. — Le lapin vivant   27

1890. — La sauteuse de corde   28

1890. — Don Quichotte  29

1890. — Le diable en boite  30

1891. — Les boxeurs   31

1892. — Le chérif  32

1892. — Le traineau russe au 33

1892 — La charrette anglaise   34

1892. — Le pêcheur à la linge 35

1892. — Le bicyclette Martin 36

1892. — Le courrier parisien   37

1893. — Le perroquet   38

1893. — La chaloupe à vapeur   39

1893. — La perruche 40

1894. — La course de taureau   41

1804. — Le piocheur   42

1894. — L’attelage flamand   43

1894.— Le facteur de chemin de fer 44

1895. — Ma portière 45

1895. — Le treuil   46

1896. — L’araignée et la mouche   47

1896. — La forge.   48

1897. — La famille Vélo 49

1897. — La pompe  50

1898. —  Les Boeufs   51

1898. — Le petit décrotteur  52

1898. — Le motocycle   53

1899. — L’oie 54

1899. — La faucheur 55

1899. — La blanchisseuse 56

1899. — Le pochard  57

1900. — The gentleman khaki   58

1900. — Le vaillant Boer 59

1900. — L’homme de corvée  60

1900. —  Le chinois 61

1901. — Bamboula  62

1901. — L’agent  63

1901. —  God save the king 64

1901. —  The Policeman 65

1901. — Le Marchande  d’oranges 66

1901. — Le garçon de café 67

1901. — L’homme sandwich 68

1902. — La sentinelle française 69

1902. — La sentinelle russe 70

1902. — La sentinelle italienne 71

1902. — Le charcutier  72

1902. —Le vieux marcheur  73

1902. — Le fort de la halle 74

1901. — Le petit pianiste 75

1902. — Le clown 76

1902. — L’artiste capillaire 77

1903. — Le gendarme 78

1903. — L’ours Martin  79

1903. — Le cake walk   80

1904. — La Voiture â bitume   81

1904. — Les pompiers à l’échelle  82

1904. — Le cuisinier   83

1905. — Le joueur de boules 84

1905. — L’hercule populaire  85

1905. — Le gymnaste   86

1905. — L’éminent avocat   87

1905. — Le laboureur   88

1906. — La boule mystérieuse   89

1906. — La course en sac   90

1907.— Chand tonneaux !!!  91

1907. — Le petit diabolo   92

1908. — Le partait pêcheur   93

1908. — Le petit boucher   94

1906. — Le petit écureuil vivant  95

1908. — Le menuisier   96

I908. — Le petit culbuteur     97

Double numbered in the gift with the remark “bis”

1887. — Le jeu de bascule  15 bis 

1897. — Le lapin tambour 49 bis   

1897. — Le gai violoniste  5o bis   


Total                                            100 objects

Note: On the list in this 1960 edition of the Cnum publication there are three extra toys mentioned, however, these toys are made after 1908 so not included in the gift.

1909. — L’autopatte

1909. — Le singe savant    

1912. — Le petit livreur.

Fernand Martin toy in the toy auction C & T Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd June 19-2024

This auction house from England has this time 1 Fernand Martin toy in the Vintage & Collectible Toy Auction on June 19 -2024
Furthermore, there are many more other beautiful toys in this auction that we can look for.

Fernand Martin number 221 from 1910 The “La chasse au rat ”

Fernand Martin tinplate c/w maid with broom chasing a mouse, with hand painted head, cotton striped clothes, when wound maid moves forward whilst bending at the waist and hitting the floor with her broom, fair condition, some paint loss to head and lacks mouse, some staining to clothes and added lead weight to rear.

Lot number 0020

There are many more beautiful toys in this auction

For the complete overview, Auction terms & Info, Shipping & Payment look at this site:

After the auction, I will publish the realized price for this toy.

Regarding the objects described in this article, I do not make a statement about authenticity, condition or value.
I advise interested collectors always do to research yourself, to view the object or to contact the seller / auction

A new color variant of the rope-jumping girl La Sauteuse De Corde

During my collection years, I only came across this toy in five different color versions.

  • dress in yellow with the details in red
  • dress in blue with the details in red
  • dress in green with the details in red
  • dress in red with the details in blue
  • dress in light blue with the details in gold-colored

See this link https://fernandmartintoys.nl/fernand-martin-the-rope-jumping-girl-number-31-la-sauteuse-de-corde/

Now a reader of my blog has sent me some photos of a new color variant, dress in yellow with the details in green, we now know that there are 6 different color variants.

And we clearly see that there is a pattern of small green/red flowers on the yellow part of the dress.

Courtesy photo’s: Jisse Khat

Drawing from 1901 with Fernand Martin and his toys.

During my search for Martin articles I found this drawing in the French magazine: LE MONDE ILLUSTRÉ Dec 7 -1901. This image shows Fernand Martin with his toys on display. This stand was the first edition of the famous Concours Lepine in Paris in 1901.

The drawing also clearly shows the toys and also shows the name “MARTIN”, on this drawing you can see: Madame Loubet, (the wife of the then President of France) looks at the inventor Mr Martin with the “LE POCHARD” (the drunk man) toy in his hand, at her side M Lepine the organizer of this exhibition / competition in 1901

The Concours Lépine is a French invention competition created in 1901 by Louis Lépine, then police prefect of Paris.
Initiated by Prefect Lépine, the event was called the “Paris Toys and Articles Exhibition” from September 30, 1901, and gave rise to a competition from November 24 to the following December 8, before a jury. This competition became annual and was renamed in 1902 “Lépine competition” and still exists today.

Le diable en boite -The devil in a box from 1890

Courtesy: Galerie Chartres

Produced from 1890
Product number 117 (In the books known to us, this toy has the Martin product number 33 which is not correct. )
Hand lacquered
Mechanism: Rubber band

Length approx. 14,8 cm/ 5,8 inches
Height approx. 14 cm/ 5,5 inches

original catalog site
original box
Original etching from my collection.
Etchings published in the year 1892 in the French technical year magazine: “LA NATURE” on page 44 and 45

The operation of the mechanism as indicated in the etching above, I have previously written a blog about these four nice etchings, see: https://fernandmartintoys.nl/very-small-etchings-from-1892-with-toys/

Free translation from the article from the magazine: “LA NATURE” page 44 and 45 1892.

The devil in a box mechanism is arranged horizontally, the delicate question with these types of movements is that they must be balanced as precisely as possible so that they can function as regularly as a pendulum.
We see in our drawing the counterweight E used for this balancing, and the oscillating balance D which maneuvers a vertical rod at each of its entrances.
One of these rods F. passing between the man’s legs makes him lean forward to slay the devil as soon as he appears; the other rod serves to alternately open and close the lid of the box to which the devil is connected by a metal plate. As for labor, here is an interesting fact, this toy has a total of 150 different operations.
These operations include cutting, stamping, trimming, bending, stapling and mounting.
As for the cast iron for the counterweight and the broom that moves to defeat the devil (this broom is a counterweight intended to balance the moving bust of the character), which we obtain through the use of molds in which molten metal is poured.
The steps indicated above also require soldering the various parts, decorating and painting, mounting the rubber band, adjusting and packaging.
Finally comes the manufacture of the labels which, although given as an extra, must also have a small example of elegance.

Le Bateau godilleur 1878

This is one of the rarest Martin toys

This one is missing its rudder

Date of first production 1878
Length 26.5cm / 10.43 Inc
Drive: rubber band

Part of the rubber band patent 128,445 drawing

Presumably the second toy that Martin has put on the market.
No factory number is known. (a guess: it could be number 101)
The drive is by means of the rubber band mechanism known at Fernand Martin

I found in this French book the patent number of this toy
The patent was published under number 128,445 on Januari 14 -1879 and original for his first toy : the fish
The third addition to his original patent 128,445 was mentioned for a swing toy, any jumping insect and for a boat, this third addition was dated June 24 -1880.

Source Gallica : Les jouets d’enfants 3e edition 1889

The Joy of Children On the Boulevards.

— What we see in the Barracks. — Toys of the day. — What interesting automata. — For the joy of the little ones and the tranquility of the grown-ups.

Paris, December 24 – 1910 La Dépeche – journal quotidien

While the traditional chromolithographs (Chromolithography is a method for making multi-colour prints.) continue to represent to us an icy Christmas where the cottages half disappear under the snow, where the trees with bare branches let stalactites of frost hang down to the ground all white, while the storytellers still speak to us of evenings cold, whistling wind, avalanches of aerial snowflakes, we wade through the warm and humid atmosphere of an absurd month of December when the mercury in the thermometer reached crazy heights for the season. Nothing would remind us of the approaching Christmas if the New Year’s Day barracks weren’t there, faithful to their post, from the Madeleine to the Bastille, spreading out their stalls crying in the wind. Poor sellers! We say a lot of good and a lot of bad. There are people who find them quaint and others who find them cumbersome. It depends on the temperaments. Moreover, in such matters, only point is the children’s point of view, and their point of view is that there are new toys in the little shacks every year. Where are the dolls of yesteryear? Where do the toy soldiers and wooden horses smell? Poor old-fashioned toys, we hardly see any more. They gradually gave way to the invasion of mechanical toys, science toys, animated marvels and prestigious automatons. This year, the airplane is the great winner. You find it everywhere: toys for two pennies or toys for thirty or fifty francs. The automobile, even the catastrophe automobile, is somewhat abandoned. She’s not up to date enough anymore.

As for the automatons, the inventive genius of the builders has, as always, given free rein to them. What do you say to this “shackled” who hops awkwardly in her fashionable skirt? (Fernand Martin number 220 L’entravée)


It is exactly that, as absurd as reality. And it’s a piquant spectacle: on the trestles of the barracks, the tin shackles jump. On the sidewalk of the boulevard, the flesh and blood shackles skip. But here is an organ player (Prosper Lévi S.i.j.i.m. number 33 Le joueur d’orgue ) who actually plays the organ. Listen: Don’t you recognize the tinny sounds of « Si tu veux nous serons heureux » (If you want we will be happy) almost everywhere ?

Le joueur d’orgue

finally, we find a fight between the two age-old enemies. What am I saying! secular! millennials, rather! That is about the woman and the mouse, ( Martin number 221 La chasse au rat ) these two beings who, since they exist, have been inspire a mutual fright. You know that all it takes is a mouse to put a woman on the run. On the other hand, if a woman starts chasing a mouse (which is rare), the mouse runs away.

La chasse au rat

But this year, a toy offers you the view of a courageous janitor with a broom in hand, stand up to the enemy. It’s a quaint duel, but the inventor was well advised to choose a concierge. No ordinary mortal of the tenant race, a pusillanimous race, would have dared to engage in battle against such a formidable enemy.

237 Dame de la Crois Rouge – The Red Cross Nurse

Courtesy Spielzeugmuseum in Soltau Germany

name: Dame de la crois rouge (the red cross nurce)
production number 237
production from: 1913
hoogte 20 cm / 7,87 inch
manufacturer: Georges Flersheim (successor of Fernand Martin)

Courtesy Spielzeugmuseum in Soltau Germany

I have personally seen a total of 6 pieces at auctions and in museums.
What is striking is that the face/head is not always the same, there are versions with a raised edge at her height and without this raised edge, whether both are original or one of these is not original? I don’t know.

Courtesy Spielzeugmuseum in Soltau Germany, Gallery Chartres and Bertoia Auctions

This Red Cross sister goes for a walk after the clockwork has been wound.
The walking mechanism is the same as that of the “Le Vieux Marcheur” (the walking gentleman) with number 185 from 1901 with patent number FR 298509.

The Red Cross name and logo was a registered trademark and could not simply be used on products.
It is not known whether Flersheim had permission.

Le bateau – La chaloupe a vapeur from 1893

I found an article in an old French technical magazine La Nature from 1894 about a tin boat made by Martin.
This nice piece is put in motion by the well-known Martin “rubber band” method, the motion is done by a winding handle at the front of the boat, under the boat is, in the tube, the “rubber band” that goes to the movement mechanism.

Produced from 1893
Product number 125 (In the books known to us, this toy has the Martin product number 43 which is not correct. )
Hand lacquered
Mechanism: Rubber band

length approx 27.5 cm (10.63) inches

Part of the rubber band patent 128,445 drawing
This very rare model lacks the steering and drive.
On display in the Toy Museum Soltau (“Spielmuseum Soltau”) in Germany
Image courtesy of Bertoia Auctions
Original catalog page

Original article and drawing’s from the magazine “La Nature 1894” Source: (Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr)

Looking at it closely, or is almost always astonished, and often amazed at the ingenuity displayed in the construction of any toy.
The child who breaks his rattle has no idea that he sometimes destroys a wonder, and Mum is far from even thinking of it. It only cost fifteen sous, they say.
But it is specified by the modieity of its price that the mechanical toy is generally a tour de force of combination.
To reduce everything to the maximum of simplicity from the point of view of the manufacture and assembly of the parts, such is the condition under which a toy will not be sold, because it will be too expensive.
Among the new creations of the last day of the year, we will choose one that is typical: the boat with propellant rudder.
Whoever imagined it must have often observed the fish, seen the way in which they throw right and left a blow of the tail which makes them move forward, and he undoubtedly sought to imitate this movement in the toy of which we speak.

Here is (fig. I) our little boat
At first glance, one thinks to see a boiler and a propeller, with a pill oddly sitting down with his steam engine and holding the rudder ropes. However, that is not the mechanism.
The pilot only serves to amuse baby, the boiler too.
The whole engine is in the keel; it is a simple rubber thread concealed in a channel, and fixed in the center of a toothed wheel; ‘at the other end, it is attached to a lever which rests on the two notches of a ratchet
The toothed wheel is nothing more than an escape wheel, and not the least; it is an anchor escapement of which the rudder head forms the counterpart.
Under the alternating impact of the teeth of the wheel (fig. I detail) between two stops placed to the right and to the left of the axis of the gourernail, the latter begins to perform oscillations which communicate its movement to the boat.
By what mechanism is the thrust carried out?
It is easy to realize this by analyzing the movement of the gourernail. Oscillations around the axis can be likened to periodically interrupted rotation.
However, this rotation results in a centrifugal movement of the water, and, consequently, a reaction on the rudder, the component of which along the axis of the boat is directed forward.
But there is another cause, probably dies effective, of propulsion.
If the rudder were to execute movements with symmetrical speeds, it would experience a thrust forward as it approached its mean position, and a retrograde thrust of the same mean value from that point on.
But this is not the case.
When the rudder leaves the escape wheel, the latter falls back with force on the second stop, and loses part of its kinetic energy there, immediately imparting a certain speed to the rudder; it then acts on the maximum lever arm, but when the rudder passes through its equilibrium position, the stop is already tilted a little; it slips away more and more, until the loose tooth is caught.
The speed of the rudder therefore decreases from the moment it begins to throw water back, until it reaches the end of its course.
However, the resistance of water is roughly proportional to the square of the speed of the moving body; therefore the pressures are stronger from back to front than in the reverse direction.
On average, this results in a propulsive force for progression which makes our little boat move forward.
We compared it earlier to a eur. View ecti.mblo and detail of the fish rudder; the analogy is real, but it is not perfect.
The rigid rudder employed as a propellant is far from being advantageous, since its action depends above all on a difference in speed and can only be very slight, and we know that, in nature, actions are generally very well combined.
If, instead of a rigid rudder, an articulated rudder is adopted (fig. 2), the apparatus becomes more advantageous; attempts in this direction have been made in the past.
The thruster consists, in this combination, of two parts A and B connected by a vertical axis.

Plane A carries, on the right and on the left, two stoppers which limit the movement of B.
As soon as this last plan ceased to act as a propellant.
A goes back, and resumes B in the symmetrical position of the one he occupied.
We can now replace the single joint with a series of hinges, each of which leaves the plane it carries a certain degree of freedom. We thus manage to build a propellant similar to the tail of the fish, of which our small boat shows the mode of action by an elementary mechanism of extreme simplicity.

A picture of this boat on the cover of the Frech version of the book: LES BATEAUX JOUETS of Jacques Milet by Publisher : ARTE; 1st edition (January 1, 1967)

Rare box off the “Le Pochard” (the drunk man)

In one of the previous auctions of the Milestone auction house I found a Le Pochard with a very rare and different box for the Martin number 172.
This box has the name : The Zig-Zag Man.

It is difficult to say where the name comes from but I found a possible option:
The “ZIG-ZAG Man” is based on the story of a French North African soldier (Zouave) aka Captain Zig-Zag, whose smoking pipe was shattered by a stray bullet during the battle of Sevastopol in 1854, so he rolled his tobacco using a piece of paper torn from a musket cartridge.
In 1855 was a French firm that used the name Zig-Zag as a brand of rolling papers, this firm was originated in Paris.
The Zig-Zag brand introduced a new and convenient way to roll up tobacco products with specially designed paper.
Zig-Zag was awarded in 1900 a gold medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris
Perhaps Martin made at the request of this “Zig-Zag” company an advertising figure, but that is unclear.
(Part of the text is from Wikipedia)

Courtesy Milestone auction house

The number on the box is 172-bis and the label is the small version, so it was made in a later period than the year 1899 in which the first copies were made.
The figure still has a typical Martin key, so it was made before the takeover in 1912

Martin toys sale in 1892

In 1892 a French newspaper La Petit Presse gave its readers a special advantage to buy products that the newspaper purchased directly from the manufacturers.
The products mentioned also include a number of toys.
On closer inspection of the toys, these are all Fernand Martin products.

Source: Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr newspaper: La Petit Presse 23-01-1892

The number behind the toy name is the product number from the newspaper and not a Martin number.

Martin toys with and without clothes.

One of Fernand Martin’s strengths was that he converted people from everyday life into children’s toys, to give these toys a good likeness and of course to hide the mechanism he gave them clothes.
This has several advantages, the children like this better, you can give a figure a different profession or look very simply and of course cheaper.

Here are some examples I found in my collection of magazines.

From the magazine: Lecture pour tous de A’Lmanach Hachette 1900, this same image was also published in a German magazine in 1906.
From the magazine: Lectures Modernes 1902
From the magazine: Lectures Modernes 1902
From the magazine: Lectures Modernes 1902
From the magazine : Femina 1902
From the magazine: Lectures Modernes 1902
Revue Hebdomadaire Dec 14 1901

1905 World exhibition Liège Belgium

In 1905 a world exhibition was held in Liège, Belgium.
France was also represented at this exhibition with the French toy industry in section 100.
In this earlier blog :


I presented a original glass stereo photo that was taken at this exhibition and depicts a counter full of Fernand Martin toys.

original glass stereo photo (Courtesy Massilia Toys )
The same photo but now publised in the book

I now found in the book: Exposition Internationale 1905 Liege, Section française Class 100 more information and also a photo showing the back of this counter.

In this photo you also see a large white statue, I have already mentioned the existence of this statue in one of my previous blogs.
This colossal statue was personifying “the Toy Fairy distributing toys”.
In the glass stereo photo from my earlier blog and on the first photo above, you can see a part of this image on the left (white part of the image and black part of a cloth over a foot/table).

Fernand Martin was one of the jury members at this exhibition, the jury members can be seen in a photo from that book, in this photo you can also see Martin himself.
Photos of Fernand Martin himself are quite rare.

Reference book: Exposition international 1905 Liege ; Section française Class 100, this book can be found on the CNUM website

Le Trapèze – the trapeze artist from 1885

Produced from 1885
Product number unknown (In the books known to us, this toy has the Martin product number 13 which is not correct, this trapeze artist has probably not been given a product number.)
Hand lacquered
Mechanism: Rubber band

Length approx. 14 cm / 5.5 inches
Height approx. 17.8 cm / 7 inches

Courtesy : Bertoia auctions

By winding the rubber band, the movement is converted into a pendulum movement that allows the gymnast to do his tricks.

This is a quite rare toy from Fernand Martin.
The column and roof were also used for: Le sonneur endiablé in 1885 number 102, but also much later by the presumed successors/descendants of Georges Flersheim in the toy: Je sonne la paix in 1916 number 246.
The figure of the gynast has also been used more often in other Martin toys.

(number 246)
From my collection
(number 102)
Courtesy : Bertoia auctions

Four different boxes for the Fernand Martin: Le Petit Culbuteur

This is an updated version of a previously posted article because new things have been found.

Until now we know the boxes of many Fernand Martin toys.
The first box label of a toy was designed just before the first production of these toys.
Once on the market, the most toys remained the same box for many years and even decades.
But from the Le Petit Livreur, ( the acrobat ) a tumbling clown, produced from 1908 with Fernand Martin number 213, there are, till now, four box labels known.

Le petit culbuteur with a original box and original key

In the bottom of the box is one of the narrow upright side a hole in which, the key was attached with a ribbon or rope that goes through that hole in the box.
This ribbon has long disappeared in most cases, I have only seen it a few times.

Three boxes contain a label and one box only a stamp.
It is not known when which label was issued.
You can see that one box has an English inscription, otherwise the box has exactly the same texts and logos as the box for the French market.

Something about boxes in general :

Boxes generally tell a lot about a toy and are therefore very interesting.
The manufacturer’s name.
The factory logo.
The product number.
The manual.
Country of origin.
Sometimes also patent applications and even the patent numbers.
Martin often put there gross and net weights.
And he told everyone which (international) prizes he has achieved and where he was a member or president of the jury.

It even happens that a loose box at auction will yield more than the toy, of course because these are much rarer.
Children threw the box away and a box is also much more fragile and broke and thrown away.

Courtesy Calerie De Chartres
These 12 empty boxes of Martin toys and one box of Lehmann toys were auctioned in 2018 in France at Ivoire Chartres

Martins without number

Martin has often accidentally or deliberately forgotten to include a number in his product numbering.
In his period from 1878 to his first Bonshomme de Ma Portiére in 1895 a number of figures without number are known, see my article for this: https://fernandmartintoys.nl/the-numbering-of-the-fernand-martin-first-period-who-can-help-me/

From the Ma Portiére in 1895 to the sale to George Flersheim in 1912, a few figures without numbers are also known.
Starting with two figures featured in the image from the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.

Les jouets à la World’s fair en 1904 à Saint-Louis (Smitsonian Labraries-no copyright)

In this image a few are recognizable and the corresponding figures have also been found.

The Bassist, in the picture numbered with (1) Courtesy E.T.
The “Jeu de boulle”? player, numbered in the picture with (2) Courtesy E.T.

Maybe there are still some figures on this St Louis photo, but the photo is so bad that they cannot be recognized immediately, wait until the actual figure(s) is found.

But there are still a few figures that cannot be found in the well-known catalogs and there are no boxes available.

Another image also shows a few figures whose number is currently unknown.

La Nature 1902 pag. 13 Concours de Lépine Paris 1901

These two figures are incorrectly numbered in the existing literature, see why in my blog: https://fernandmartintoys.nl/change-of-martin-numbers-for-some-toys/

Le télégraphiste-the postman number (1)
Le garçon de café – the waiter number (2)

(both images courtesy Bertoia Auctions)

Martin donated 100 toys to the “Musée Dez Arts Et Métiers” in Paris in 1908, this donation was a good overview of the toys he has produced since the beginning, he also made a list of them.
All the pieces in his donation can be traced back through documentation and old found catalogues.
These four pieces are therefore not only numbered, but are also not included in the donation.
As can be seen above, they are documented.

The Flersheim period

In the Flersheim period from 1912 to 1919 there are still many uncertainties, the photo below shows a Le Petit Livreur with a trunk, on the far right.
This is not mensioned in the numbering known to us.

Foto: Magazin La Dépéche Dec. 30-1912 (the les cochons du pére francois number 226 is the last toy from the Fernand Martin production)
From my own collection

And one of my collector friends has a version of the L’autopatte with the same trunk on it.

Courtesy E.T.

There is a lot of uncertainty about the numbering of the Flersheim period from 1912 to 1919, many figures are known, but the product numbers are often not.
We’ll wait and see and maybe we’ll get this numbering complete one day.

In black the numbers and names known to us, the numbers in red have yet to get their corresponding name, if any of my readers know the correct names of one or more of the missing numbers (with proof like a numbered box) please message me.

List of confirmed numbers :

227: “Chaud les Marrons“
228: “Le Motocycliste Enragé“
229: “Le Petit Patineur“
230: “La Pédalette“
231: “Le Motocycliste“
232: “Soldat Bulgare“
233: “La Casseuse d’Assiettes“
234: “Le Chef d’Orchestre“


237: “Dame de la Croix-Rouge”
238: “Soldat Marocain”

240: “La Guerre Aérienne”
241: “Ma Nounou”



246: “Je Sonne la Paix“


first production date : 1892
production number: 127 (In the books known to us, this toy has the Martin product number 36, but the latest discoveries show that the real number is 127.)
mechanism: clockwork
height: 8,5 cm / 7,87 inch – length: 21 cm / 8,27 inch
produced by Fernand Martin

A very amusing toy, after turning the mechanism he starts moving, beats his wings and drives forward
Pictures courtesy Bertoia Auctions
Picture from the original catalogue 1898
Marked on the tail with the Martin FM sign

Martin Toys with a candy container ?

Around 1912 there were a few toys that differed in detail from the normal models.
This happened just before or just after the takeover from Martin to Georges Flersheim.
A few models were then modified and provided with an open space to put in presumably sweets.
These spaces were created in two ways.
A tin container was placed on the models of the “Le petit Livreur” and the “L’autopatte”.
The model of the “Le petit marchane d’oranges” the top was made so that it could open.

The three original models from the Fernand Martin period without a candy container.

In the Martin “Le petit marchane d’oranges” model, the mechanism is “in” the space between the bottom of the cart and the fruit, in the later model the mechanism has been moved to the bottom of the cat.

So it was three known models with a “temporary” adjustment.
Whether Martin or Flersheim were responsible for this is not entirely known, but they all have clear signs of the Martin models, the later Flersheim models have several specific changes compared to the Martin models, so I think they are models that were produced by Flersheim immediately after the takeover using parts that were still in stock from the earlier Fernand Martin production.

These three models with the candy container are very rare.

Martin type of Wheels en Key and the boy was given hair and a bonnet
Martin type of Wheels and Flersheim type Key, (Picture Courtesy ET)
Martin type skirt with raised back but a Flersheim mechanism (courtesy Bertoia Auctions)
On one side the two hinges on the other side there are three tabs to close it, see picture above

Film from 1906 with a lot of Martin toys

In 2023 I published a blog : https://fernandmartintoys.nl/magazine-les-jouets-et-jeux-anciens/ 

That blog mentioned a report about a meeting in 1906, during which a film was published with mainly Martin toys but also toys from Lehmann, among others.

I received a copy of this report from Mr. Claude Lamboley which included the following text:

Then the whole series of well-known mechanical toys was paraded before us that are manufactured in the factory of Mr. Fernand Martin. Cinematographic films presented the workshops and the tools of this manufacture; hands showed the toys being made, turning them, turning them over, while the lecturer gave the explanation (very curious effect).
Then, finally, the cinematograph projected amusing and dramatic scenes, the actors of which were Mr. Martin’s’s mechanical little bonshommes.

In that blog from July 18 -2023 I said: Now we have to find that film.

Now I can tell you that I found this film. This film is used by Mr Klaus Lorenz in his lecture : THE MAGIC OF AUTOMATES on June 02 – 2023 This lecture was held in the CINÉMATHÈQUE Paris – Room George’s Franju 

(Wikipedia: The Cinémathèque Française Paris, founded in 1936, is a French non-profit film organization that holds one of the largest archives of film documents and film-related objects in the world.The archive offers daily screenings of worldwide films.)

In an old Pathé-Frères catalogue from 1907, this film is listed under number 1356 with the following text:

Bob’s Theater….
Bob’s father was undoubtedly generous, because on the small theater stage we will recognize all the popular types of the latest toys of the year.
Bob, as an excellent director, managed to introduce them to us as an artist, and despite the age it is a pleasure there, it will certainly please everyone.

The hole lecture is about 1 hour and 15 min. , in this compleet lecture you see a lot of other toy automates, this lecture is in French. 

The part with the Martins start on 0.00 min. till 6.35 min. , it is a silent film so no text, music or spoken words. 

Here the link to the complete lecture with the film: Le théàtre de Bob de Gaston Velle.



La Patinette – The boy on a scooter

Name: La Patinette
Produced from about 1929
Produced by Victor Bonnet (VB&Cie)
Production number 263
Movement mechanism: turning key with a loose key
Height: 22.5 cm / 8.86 inch
Length: 23 cm / 9.06 inch

The original box

If you look closely at the legs and the shoes you will see that Victor Bonnet has reused them from the boy on roller skates, Le Petit Patineur number 229 from 1914 made by Georges Flesheim.
The movement mechanism is also the same, they make a step movement with their right leg while the other leg is fixed on the roller skate with the Le Petit Patineur and on the step with the La Patinette.

This figure was used years ago by a Dutch investment / mortgage company in one of their advertisements.

The bottom
The Victor Bonnet logo ( VB&Cie Paris made in France ) is on the bottom plate under the front fork
Image in the Christmas catalog 1930/1931 Au Bon Marche December 1, 1930

Overvieuw Victor Bonnet pistols

In recent months I have presented all till now known Victor Bonnet pistol models.
To make your search a little easier, I have combined them in this blog
Here is an overview of all models with the corresponding link to the relevant blog for each model.

The Victor Bonnet list with pistol models with article numbers and link to the specific blog:
247 le-pan-pan
256 flac
257 bombarde
258 le-petard
262 tape_fort
264 le-sans-balle
266 le-costaud
??? le-corsaire (Product number unknown)

Fernand Martin “Le Livreur” From 1888 (2020 article revised)

A very early Martin with the name: Le Livreur (the delivery guy)
Made from 1888
Product number 108
Length 15.6cm / 6.14in
This was probably the most successful Martin ever.

Photo courtesy of RSL auctions

The history that preceded this:
Due to an article in the American “The Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office” of October 20, 1885 on page 352, I came across the patent number 6470 of a “mechanical toy animal figure” .
I started searching further and it turned out to be an English patent.
In 1884 there was the Englishman Mr. William Hamilton Hall, 72 Denmark Villas, West Brighton, he was an inventor / toy manufacturer.
He filed a patent in England in April 17, 1884 under number GB 6470
The patent was filed under the name: “Improvements in Mechanical Toy Animal Figures”.
An extensive correction followed on January 26, 1885.
The Complete Specification was dated January 16, 1885, and it contains 7 pages of text and 3 pages of drawings.
The patent was directly applied for in several countries.
Here is an overview of the countries now known:
United States October 20, 1885 patent number 328912
France July 4, 1884, patent number 163149
Belgium March 28, 1885 patent number 68347
Austria December 4, 1884, patent number 34162
Hungary December 4, 1884, patent number 56714
Germany July 1, 1884, patent number 29806
England April 17, 1884, patent number 6470

Part of the discription from William Hamilton Hall with the US patent 328.912 from the “ The Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office “ The patent numbers and patent dates in different countries

The British Library Business & IP Center 96 Euston Road London make the patents available with explanation and images.

Part of the discription from William Hamilton Hall with the US patent 328.912 on this drawing you see a crank-shaft Y between the wheels of the cart and two connecting-rods X from the crank-shaft Y to the legs.

I found in David Pressland’s beautiful book “Pressland’s Blechspielzeug Der Welt” from 1995 and published by “AS Verlag Zürich” on page 241 a photo of a toy with his original box, the box appears, after further investigation, to have patent number 6470 and this is exactly the toy patent number from William Hamilton Hall produced from 1884, but are the box and toy on the photo from Hall?

Thanks to David Pressland’s that i may use this picture from his beautiful book “Pressland’s Blechspielzeug Der Welt” from 1995 , published by AS Verlag Zürich

I had a toy as on the picture from David Pressland book in my collection myself that looks like Martins “Le Livreur” but until now I do not know who the manufacturer is. As seen on the picture there is no crank-shaft between the wheels of the cart and there are no connecting-rods from the cart to the legs as seen on the Patent drawing above, Martin replaced that with a flywheel. Is this Hall’s “automatic postman” ?

Is it possible that Hall later adapted his toys, because they might have been cheaper and worked better, to Martin’s construction?”, yes that is possible, but he would have infringed Martin’s patent.
Or vice versa, Martin’s patent wouldn’t have been valid, if an instantiation of his invention had been commercially available.

I think that Martin study the Hall patent and he thought this was a wonderful toy and saw the business benefits.
But he had other thoughts about the mechanism and he applied for an “improved” patent for this type of toy.

In the book Fernand Martin Toymaker in Paris 1878-1912 it is stated on page 33 (with the wrong product number 22) that the story of the Le Livreur started with patent 75632 (printing error they meant 15632) on November 15, 1887 (this date will be reflected in the further story) but the story started with the William Hamilton Hill patent 6470 from April 17, 1884 in England so 3 years earlier.

Martin made improvements and on November 15, 1887 applied for a patent in England under the name “Improvements in Device or Mechanism for Communicating to Toys Movements Analogous to those of Human Beings and Animals when Walking.” and it get patent number 15632
The patent was reprinted as it was amended and quotes the following dates:
Date of Application: November 15, 1887,
Complete Specification Left (at the Patent Office,) May 09, 1888
Complete Specification Accepted July 27, 1888.
The patent contains 6 pages and includes 1 page with 4 drawings.

There are notable difference of Hall’s and Martin’s patents.
This is why “improvement” in Martin’s patent title takes its full sense, is that he eliminated the need for the crank-shaft between the wheels of the cart and the connecting-rods from the cart to the legs and replaced that with a flywheel.
He very smartly achieves it with the gripping of the heel of the supporting foot.
It therefore makes the cranked axle-tree easier to bend and the overall toy more reliable and simultaneously less expensive (less parts, less assembly time).

First page of the Fernand Martin patent GB 15632
Page 6 with the 4 drawings patent GB 15632. Here you can see the flywheel inside the cart.

Regarding the Hall and Martin patent, Martin explains a few things on page 5 of his English patent.

Martin wrote the following text:

Having now specifically described and ascertained the nature of my said invention and in what manner the same is to be performed I declare that I am aware of Hall’s Specification No. 6470 AD 1884 and I make no claim to anything described and claimed therein, but what I claim is:
A kind of toy with a miniature figure (preferably of a man) the legs of whitch imitate the natural movements of walking by the combined action of a motor vehicle having a continuous translation motion and abutting point placing itself alternately on any suitable surface, in such manner that retaining one leg an instant on the ground and the movement of translation continuing this abutting point forces the leg in contact with the ground to incline itself thus giving a movement similar but in the reverse sense to the second leg with which it is connected by a bent or cranked axle.

About the same time, Martin also applied on November 12, 1887 for this patent in France, where it was given the number 186948.
See more in my other blog from August 15 2019:


But so far, all Martin copies and boxes found have the patent number 15632, so the English patent number.
I have not yet found any copies or a box with the French patent number.
On the top of the cart and on the box is written: “F.M. S.G.D.G. France & Etranger Paris Patent 15632
France & Etranger meens French and foreign.
I think Martin used the English patent number because it had already been approved and the application for the French patent was still being processed in France.

Top of the Martin cart

Fernand Martin and E.P. Lehmann turned out to be good business colleagues and Lehmann also saw something in this toy.
Lehmann was allowed to use this patent against payment of 5 francs per 144 (12 dozen) pieces sold.
The success was enormous and within 8 months Lehmann came to Martin with a payment of 5000 francs, so 144.000 of the Lehmann “Express” EPL number 140, had already been sold up to that point.

Back of the Lehmann cart

On the back of the Lehmann Express (the copy of the Martin Le Livreur) , the text is Engl.Patent without a patent number.

A toy and his box :

Thanks for being allowed to use the photo’s: Left “Le Livreur” Photo courtesy of Pook&Pook auctioneers, above right the “Lehmann Express” Photo courtesy of Morphy Auctions, right under the Hall ? toy Photo courtesy of David Pressland

Take a good look at the boxes from Martin, Lehmann and Hall ? , they are very similar.

The success of the collaboration between F. Martin and E.P. Lehmann was expanded with several Martins, of which Lehmann was allowed to use the patents and were also allowed to be manufactured.

With special thanks to:
The British Library. Business & IP Center. 96 Euston Road. London
To make the patents available with explanation and images.

Magazine Benjamin 1931 Dec 17.

Benjamin was a French newspaper for young people founded by Jean Nohain. First published in January 1929, it ended in 1958. Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France

A journalist from the magazine “Benjamin” visits M. Bonnet “President of French toy manufacturers…”

-Monsieur Bonnet, see you soon, madam, would you sit down?
The charming secretary who received me is a sociable person, she talks to you with respect.
-It’s because Monsieur Bonnet is very busy…
I know that.
mr. Bonnet honors himself with the admirable title of: President of the Syndicate Chamber of French Toy Manufacturers, but that’s not all, it’s an official title, but that generally means nothing.
-It’s no small feat, you can imagine, continues the dear secretary, to be governor-general of all French toys!
The time has come, now it gets interesting, I no longer wait for the chairman of a union chamber, but for the governor of toys, the king of toys, the Napoleon of toys, a gentleman who only talks and thinks of dolls, soldiers, trains…

—Would you like to go in, ma’am?
Mr. Bonnet stands before me and leads me into his opulent office.
I have to admit right away, Mr. Bonnet didn’t tell me this.
Disappointed and unless you’re unreasonable enough not to let in any toy king other than a six-year-old boy, everyone will agree that Mr. Bonnet is also exactly “the right man”, the type of the real good grandfather and a grandfather who spends his life surrounded by toys, judge a little!
Oh sir, you must know things that no one has the slightest idea!
Surely you can tell me how many toys we make each year?
Now impressive figures on toys come from France and elsewhere
—In France, on average, 70,000,000 are made, that is, for about 300,000,000 francs.
Who would have thought that? Every year, 70,000,000 toys are needed for little French people!

And what kind of toys do we mainly make, dolls and trains?
We can say that dolls alone make up a fifth of this production, the railway industry and the mechanical toy industry are about equally important, the rest of this figure achieved is represented by all kinds of toys.
And find all these dolls, all these trains, all these different toys, buyers?
—Certainly, and we could produce even more, since 20,000,000 pieces of foreign toys flow parallel to ours.
Imported toys then? Ah yes, I know one of the “Made in Germany” toys myself.
So there are so many toys made in Germany that those little Germans can’t destroy everything and that our little French children have to help them?
—We make a lot of them, but in the United States they make a lot more.
Is it the United States that produces the most?
Yes, they can be the main toy producing country classified according to the importance of their production: United States, Germany, France and Japan, where regiments of celluloid babies are born.
But it is Germany that exports the most, isn’t it?
—Yes, at least to France, the United States mainly exports to South America, Japan and to China.

Germany prefers to trade with us, firstly because it is our neighbor and secondly because French industrialists have a reputation for being very good payers.
—In 1930, of the 13,348 quintals (quintal is an old unit for weight of one hundred kilograms) of toys imported into France, 11,217 quintals came from Germany.
—But in Germany everyone has to make toys? You think I’m not telling the truth?
—In addition to the large factories, which are wonderfully equipped for the manufacture of mechanical toys, one can find whole families in small villages, such as in the Black Forest, for example, who are busy assembling small toys at home.
—Their work is paid at the rate of 0 Fr.50 to 2 Fr. per hour, which is too little and not good, as you can expect they work as much as possible.
You haven’t told me about the toy soldiers, sir.
—The toy soldier industry is starting to recover a bit, but each country is enough for its own consumption, other toys are also sold locally because it would be too inconvenient to ship it, for example, these are heavy toys such as wheelbarrows, carts, small furniture, wooden horses…

Here is a statement signed by Mr Bonnet

(translation) The president of the French toys manufacturer is hereby thanking the small junior Benjamin’s for listening to all our discussions.
He is asking them to please children of workmen and French toy makers by prioritizing toys made by their parents .

Sir, I didn’t believe the toy industry was so successful at first
—It is strong, important and also very complete, because it makes almost all crafts work, the little girls and boys want everything they see in the hands of adults in miniature, they have toy cars, sewing machines, bicycles, microscopes, clocks needed and who knows what else?

—On the other hand, some toys require a very diverse workforce.
—Open a box of board games and try to imagine the number of workers from many professions who had to work together to produce all these objects together.
But I think, sir, if the youngest didn’t break their toys, it would be a national disaster! half more unemployed?
—Certainly, ma’am, but thank goodness we’re not there yet and there will be a lot of water flowing under the bridges before the race of the little wrecker dies out, thankfully.
Who tell you, sir? I have a horrible three year old nephew who can bust the hardest toy in five minutes but darling is a good little civilian!

I wish all the visitors of my blog a:

Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année
Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
Boas Festas e um feliz Ano Novo
Kala Christougenna Ki’eftihismenos O Kenourios Chronos
God Jul och Gott Nytt År
Glædelig Jul og godt nytår
Geseende Kerfees en ’n gelukkige nuwe jaar
Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta

Don’t miss the January 2024 issue of the Antique Toy World Magazine.

An overview of the contents of the new Antique Toy World Magazine January 2024:

Antique Toy World is the leading publication for toy collectors worldwide.

Published since 1970.
Antique Toy World is a monthly magazine published in the USA by Dale Kelley, the magazine’s founder, editor and publisher.

To subscribe go to https://antiquetoyworld.com/about-atw/
Email: ads@antiquetoyworld.com

Course de taureau-The bull fighter.

An article with image of the bullfighter from Fernand Martin number 129 ((In the books known to us, this toy has the Martin product number 47, but that is incorrecte).


It seems that this year, the small booths on New Year’s Day have had a real resurgence in success. We don’t want to witness it except the compact crowd that hasn’t stopped crowding the boulevards since Christmas Eve.

L’univers Illustré jan. 05- 1895, Source gallica.bnf.fr / Bibliothèque nationale de France

During our walk we came across several sensational toys. In the series of mechanical toys, always very successful, here is the Bull race, which buyers have already dubbed the Little Sugar Bowl (explanation see below): two horizontal bars, one ending in a bull, the other in a toreador armed with his muleta, chase each other; the bull, with articulated legs, leaps upon the toreador who flees from him.


Explanation: Le petit sucrier: the sugar bowl. that was the nickname of Max Lebaudy, the son of a very wealthy French sugar manufacturer, who died young in 1895, after wasting millions, much of it in the most absurd way.
1894 is the year when Max fell in love with bullfighting.
He then intends to organize several bullfights on his estate and thus has an arena built for the occasion.
All of Paris and local notables are invited to attend these bullfights, orchestrated down to the smallest detail, even the program which was written in Spanish!
Because Fernand Martin also belonged to the notables of Paris, it is very likely that he also watched one of these bullfights and in an interview for the magazine: Almanach Pratique illustré du Petit Parisien 1913 article: Les jouet mécanique, invention bien Française by Paul Lagarlère page 71-80, Martin told that he was inspired by the Max Lebaudy bullfight’s to design this toy.

Courtesy: Spielzeug museum Soltau Germany

You can find another article about this toy in the link below:


Result of the Martin’s in the Bertolami Fine Art Antique Toys & Sports Memorabilia auction December 5 – 2023


The auction will be held on December 5th at 15:00 CEST in Bertolami Fine Art headquarter in Piazza Lovatelli, 1 – Rome.

In this auction there are 4 Martin toys, but there are more beautiful other toys in this auction.

The following methods of participation are available: in person; by telephoneonline upon registration on our website www.bertolamifineart.com, or on our partner portals (see list below); by a written absentee bid to be received by 12:00 CEST on Tuesday 5th November 2023.

List of partner portals:

DrouotInvaluableLive AuctioneersArsvalueBidspiritOne Bid

For more information click on this link: https://www.bertolamifineart.com/uk/special-conditions/informazioni-sullasta-278.asp?layout=0

These prices are in € (Euro) and without Buyer’s Premium and subject to errors.
Always check the auction site for the results.

Regarding the objects described in this article, I do not make a statement about condition or value.
I advise interested collectors always do to research yourself, to view the object or to contact the seller / auction

Difference between: La Casseuse D’assiettes / Madelon Casseuse D’assiettes.

This very beautiful toy was first produced by Fernand Martin’s successor, Mr. Georges Flersheim.
In the late 1920s, approximately around 1928, these toys were produced again in a slightly modified form by Georges Flersheim’s successor Mr. Victor Bonnet
The height of both versions is approximately 19 cm / 7,5 inch

The differences are mainly in:
Georges Flersheim version is named: La Casseuse D’assiettes
Produced from 1913
Product number 233
A characteristic Flersheim key
Produced in a red and blue version

Victor Bonnet version is named: Madelon Casseuse D’assiettes.
Produced from around 1928
Product number 260
The body is no longer hand-lacquered, only her face and hat with bow are hand-lacquered.
A distinctive Victor Bonnet key
Got cloth clothes

Christmas catalogue: Samaritaine 1929-1930

The number of dishes and the color of the dishes may differ depending on the version.
Georges Flersheim’s version only had “white” dishes.
Various color versions of the plates were found in the Victor Bonnet version.

  • Only “white” dishes.
  • “White” dishes with a “red” dish on top attached to the rod
  • Dishes in “red” with gold-colored stars as decoration
  • Dishes in “red” with gold-colored dots as decoration

The bottom dish that is attached to the hands is colored “white” in the Flersheim version, in the Bonnet version it is “white” and features a red factory logo with the text VB&CIE PARIS MADE IN FRANCE

‘La Casseuse d’Assiettes’ was inspired by a comic strip featuring a girl called Becassine.
The comic strip was first published ‘La Semaine de Suzette’ (February 1905), a weekly edition for girls and very soon Becassine became a French icon.
In 1913 Flersheim made her into a fantastic toy but he was not allowed to use the name Becassine because it had been registered as a trademark in 1910.
I found a book: La Semaine de Suzette with the first 26 weekly numbers of 1914, in this book the publisher placed advertisements, in which he sold ‘Becassine Casseuse d’Assiettes’ at 2.90 Francs, without naming Flersheim.

Book: “la Semaine de Suzette”, from 1914 10-ième année – Premier semestre 
Advertising 1 Bécassine 001 from “la Semaine de Suzette” No. 9 – 2 avril 1914 ( 10-ième annéé)
Advertising 2 Bécassine 001 from “la Semaine de Suzette”No. 11 – 16 avril 1914

Advertising 1
Advertising 2

Below you can see two patents about this toy, the first is the France patent with number 458560 of Mai 29 -1913 and the second is the German patent with number 270852 of July 13 – 1913, on the patent drawings you can see how complicated and ingenious the mechanism is. If you look at the mechanism from the inside you will also see solidity.

Part of the French patent
Part of the German patent

The Box:

The differences between the box of the Flersheim version and the Bonnet version are clearly visible

The top of the box of the Flersheim version
The inside of the box of the Flersheim version
The top of the box of the Bonnet version
The inside of the top of the box of the Bonnet version

The operation is as follows: after turning the mechanism, the figure vibrates forward, after a short time the dishes are thrown into the air and the figure falls backwards. Then the dishes must be gathered together again, placed on the support rod and the rod with the dishes must be pushed back into the bottom dish that is fixed between the hands.

Courtesy Greg DeSanto : International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center

Carl Bagessen, born in 1858 in Denmark.
In 1895 he was a contortionist at Cirque Rancy in Lyon, under the name “Corkscrew Man”.
He also had a comedy act very similar to our toy in action where he drops a huge pile of plates on the floor.
For twenty years, Bagessen brought this act to all the variety theaters in the world.

Marque Déposée Article Français.

Explanetion of the “triangel” mark sign on toys

On many toys from around 1887 till the thirty’s of the last century, we see a triangular symbol with a number below it on the boxes of toys and even on the toys.
This symbol was once invented by the”La Chambre Syndicale des Fabricants de Jouets Français”, of which Fernand Martin was a board member and even once chairman, in the thirty’s of the last century the triangle probably had lost any meaning and disappeared.

This symbol was a sing of quality from a French manufacturer.

The manufacturer who wishes to make use of this mark only has to justify his quality of French manufacturer, and to pay the registration fee for the serial number of the police in perpetuity, a fee which amounts to a single sum of five francs.

Gallica BnF : Chambre Syndicale des Fabricants de Jouets Français

The Trade Union Chamber of French Toy Manufacturers filed with the Registry of the Commercial Court of the Seine, June 1, 1886, under number 23,795, a trademark of which we give the facsimile.
The Chambre Syndicale, with the aim of developing national industry, grants authorization to use this mark to any French industrialist who so requests.
It is enough to justify its quality as a French manufacturer.
For information, contact the Chambre Syndicale on the third Friday of each month, Hôtel Moderne, place de la République.

Each toy manufacturer that was allowed to use this symbol received a separate number.
Fernand Martin’s factory was registered under number 138

I found the first Martin toy with this sign on the box of the Le Cab from 1889

Some examples of the “triangel” mark sign on toys, catalogue or toy box of various manufacturers with their number

Fernand Martin stand on the World Exhibition Liège, Belgium in 1905

The stand of Fernand Martin, picture found in:
Exposition universelle & internationale de Liège 1905 rapport général de la section française – Free Download Borrow and Streaming Internet Archive

Excerpt from the original report: group: Class 100 section Bimbeloterie
There was a colossal statue personifying the Toy Fairy distributing toys.
The French toy exhibition included 63 exhibitors representing a wide variety of branches of the toy industry.
One of them was Mr. Fernand Martin, former president of the Trade union Chamber of the manufacturers of toys and games.
(Reporter, Mr. A. Chauvin.)

Victor Bonnet pistols 8: Le Corsaire

Victor Bonnet produced various tin pistols in the period from 1919 to 1933.
The number we know now is 8 pieces but maybe we will discover more.
the list of the pistols known so far is:

The Victor Bonnet list with pistol models with article numbers
Le Pan-Pan 247
Flac 256
Bombarde 257
Le Pétard 258
Tape_Fort 262
Le Sans-Balle 264
Le Costaud 266
Le Corsaire (Product number unknown)

Here we present :

Name: Le Corsaire
Number: Product number unknown
Year of first production: 1932 ??
Dimensions: 18 cm x ?? cm / 7 inch x ?? inch

After the relocation of the production of the Victor Bonnet factory in 1933, we no longer find pistols in the product range.
Probably is that the Victor Bonnet & Cie-in-liquidation, sold the patents and trademarks of guns/pistols to JEP.

Number 246 “Le Déverseur” for the Englisch speaking market

In one of my previous blogs I mentioned that the Le Deverseur was only found with a French label on top of the box and for the Englisch market with a Englisch instruction label inside on the bottom of the box..

with a French label on the top of the box and an English instructions for use label on the bottom inside of the box

I’ve seen one now one, with all the labels in English.
Below you can also see on the box label that the name has been changed in : Self Unloading Waggon.

The label on top of the box, the instructions for use picture on the side of box and the separate instructions for use are all in the English language.

The separate user manual card is executed in two languages, French and Englisch, in the right photo you can see that he is not called “Waggon” as on the box label but “Lorry”

Le Jeu De Massacre


This is a very early toy from 1885
Length approx. 17,8 cm/ 7 inches
Height approx. 12,5 cm/ 5 inches

No final product number is known for this toy.
In the book by Lourens Bas : Toymaker in Paris 1878 – 1912 he is listed under number 16 on page 45 but we now know that the numbering of the “first” period is completely different, see my article https://fernandmartintoys.nl/the-numbering-of-the-fernand-martin-first-period-who-can-help-me/


It has long remained unknown how this toy looked like but an article written by Renaud Fournier in the Antique Toy World Magazine of december 2016 mentions that one copy was found at a French auction, but a second copy has since been found at a French auction at Galerie de Chartres January 2022 at Le Coudray.
This toy is very fragile and both found pieces have missing parts such as broken hands, arms and heads.


These toys also appear not to be made of cardboard, as is stated in the book by Lourens Bas: Toymaker in Paris 1878 – 1912, but of tinplate and cast metal.
The front is lithographed and the back is blank tinplate.
The whole rests on two transverse strips.
The three figures are flexibly mounted on a rod.
On the front is written at the top the word Massacre and at the bottom in small FM Bté S.G.D.G. Paris Modele Déposé.

When all figures have been hit well by a ball

In the past, this toy will have been delivered in a box with one or more small balls to try to knock over one or more of the three figures.
The figures are a devil, a polichinelle and a pierrot made of cast metal.

We are not yet 100% sure from catalog images or the sales box whether this is really a Martin, but there are a few indications that this is a Martin:

  • the reuse of the devil figure in the Le Jeu De Force from 1884 and the Le Diable En Boîte from 1890.
  • the text : FM Bté S.G.D.G. Paris Modele Déposé, which can also be found practically written in the same way on other toys from that time such as the Les Joyeux Danseurs and the Les Courageux Scieurs De Long….

Photos of the toy: Jeu De Massacre, courtesy Renaud Fournier and Galerie de Chartres

Victor Bonnet pistols 7: Le Costaud

Victor Bonnet produced various tin pistols in the period from 1919 to 1933.
The number we know now is 8 pieces but maybe we will discover more.
the list of the pistols known so far is:

The Victor Bonnet list with pistol models with article numbers
Le Pan-Pan 247
Flac 256
Bombarde 257
Le Pétard 258
Tape_Fort 262
Le Sans-Balle 264
Le Costaud 266
Le Corsaire ??

Here we present :

Name: Le Costaud
Number: 266
Year of first production: 1931
Dimensions: 14,5 cm x 11,5 cm / 5,7 inch x 4,53 inch

Patent number is FR 730.021 d.d. April 04-1931

With the product number 266 on the box
image from a JEP sale catalog from the model “Le Corsaire”

After the relocation of the production of the Victor Bonnet factory in 1933, we no longer find pistols in the product range.
Probably is that the Victor Bonnet & Cie-in-liquidation, sold the patents and trademarks of guns/pistols to JEP.

Chauds les marrons, The chestnut vendor

first production date : 1912
production number: 227
height: 19 cm / 7,5 inch produced by Georges Flersheim

After winding, his head moves and his right hand goes spinning over the chestnuts, his left hand moves with the lid of the kettle.

Roasted sweet chestnuts were already sold in Rome in the sixteenth century. In Paris they were roasted and sold on the spot on the street, nowadays there are still many European places where they are offered on the street.

Paris early 1900 (photos from my collection)

This street scene is of course also seen by toy manufacturers and like so many street scenes there was an ingenious inventor who designed a toy out of it.
I found an article in the magazine La Nature from 1911 with a description and picture of a “Le Marchand de Marrons” that looks very much like the Flersheim version.

The original inventor of this toy is Mr. Raoul Maurin from Paris. Source picture : (Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr magazine La Nature 1911

an early French postcard

As is well known, Fernand Martin has bought many inventions from the small inventors in his career, this toy came from the old Martin portfolios, Martin had bought the design of this toy at the Concours Lepine in 1911 and Flersheim patented them under his name. Note:
Flersheim acquired with the company all Martin’s patents and this one is one of them.

Part of the patent applied by Georges Flersheim
Another part of this patent
Very nice box label

Released with different logos and texts and the winding key at the bottom.

la Pompe: The man at the village pump

Maker: Fernand Martin

Year: 1897

Number: 159

Dimensions: High 20 cm ( 7,9 inch) Long 15 cm ( 5,9 inch)

Coutesy Bertoia auctions

This very rare toy is driven by a rubber band, Martin used this rubber band a lot in his first period.
A man pumps water from a village pump.
Many working figures are unknown and this toy had a real working pump.
Water had to be put in the container under the pump and after winding up the rubber band, the man started pumping and the water came out of the pump.

If you look at the drawing you can recognize the working of the pump.

Picture from the original catalog from 1898

I have seen this toy with the man in two differend colors, yellow en red. This man was also used by Martin in other toys such as the La Famille vélo from 1897, the Le Monocycle aérien from 1896 and with a toy which I previously wrote a piece about but is unknown so far, see my blog: https://fernandmartintoys.nl/did-i-found-an-unknown-martin-toy-or-not/

Result Martin Fireman in the Ladenburger Spielzeugauktion September 22/09-2023

In the next Ladenburger Toyauction there is one Martin toy with Lot number 017 but there are many more other beautiful pieces in this auction
We are pleased to present you this catalog in German and English language.

For the complete overview, Auction terms & Info, Shipping & Payment look at this site:

Result € 360

Le Pompier L’Echelle – (the fireman) – Martin number 197bis. This model was made by Victor Bonnet from 1919.

The price is in Euro € and without Buyer’s Premium and subject to errors.
Always check the auction site for the results.

Regarding the objects described in this article, I do not make a statement about authenticity, condition or value.
I advise interested collectors always do to research yourself, to view the object or to contact the seller / auction

Victor Bonnet pistols 6: Le Sans Balle

Victor Bonnet produced various tin pistols in the period from 1919 to 1933.
The number we know now is 8 pieces but maybe we will discover more.
the list of the pistols known so far is:

The Victor Bonnet list with pistol models with article numbers
Le Pan-Pan 247
Flac 256
Bombarde 257
Le Pétard 258
Tape_Fort 262
Le Sans-Balle 264
Le Costaud 266
Le Corsaire ??

Here we present :

Name: Le Sans-Balle
Number: 264
Year of first production: 1929
Dimensions: 9,5 cm x 7 cm / 3,75 inch x 2,8 inch

Image of the back of a Victor Bonnet bill

Ladenburger Spielzeugauktion September 22/09-2023

In the next Ladenburger Toyauction there is one Martin toy with Lot number 017 but there are many more other beautiful pieces in this auction
We are pleased to present you this catalog in German and English language.

For the complete overview, Auction terms & Info, Shipping & Payment look at this site:

Le Pompier L’Echelle – (the fireman) – Martin number 197bis. This model was made by Victor Bonnet from 1919.

After the auction, I will publish the realized price for this Martin.

Regarding the objects described in this article, I do not make a statement about authenticity, condition or value.
I advise interested collectors always do to research yourself, to view the object or to contact the seller / auction

The inventor of the toy: Chauds les Marrons.

We all know the chestnut vendor “Chauds les Marrons” , it was produced by Georges Flersheim but Fernand Martin bought the rights during the annual “Concours Lepine” in 1911.

Here an article from I found in the magazine “La Nature” from 1911 of the “original” toy.

Source: Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr magazine La Nature 1911

A free translation:


The chestnut vendor.
Here comes winter.
The chestnut merchant sets up his itinerant shop under a doorway or on a street corner and offers passers-by a bargain.
The one shown in our drawing is very natural.
With one hand he stirs the contents of the pan, with the other hand he keeps the circle and the movement of his head towards the oranges and chestnuts, kept warm under a cloth, very clearly indicating that he offers his goods to passers-by.
How does it all work?
The circular movement of the right arm, the one that stirs the chestnuts, is done by means of a rod A, driven by the spring mechanism placed in B, and crossing the pan to direct the hand using a pin C.
The head is driven by a rod D taken eccentrically and hidden in the body of the man from the “Auvergne” (province in France)
The inventor is mr. Raoul Maurin, 24 rue de Belfort, Paris.

I will soon make another blog with more details and things worth knowing about this toy.

La voiture a bitume from 1903

The early period of the pavements in Paris around 1900

With the increase in traffic on the streets of Paris in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was necessary to cover the ground with a homogeneous material that was easy to drive on and walk on.
At that time, there were 5 options: large cobblestones, small pitted cobblestones, wooden cobblestones, asphalt or macadam.
These five different types of pavement were successively used in the city, each with their advantages and disadvantages.
The method of paving with wooden cobblestones received a lot of enthusiasm at the time and was the first option developed.
Made of pine, these wooden pavers were laid perpendicular to the road and then sealed with bitumen.
The wooden pavers were finally abandoned completely after 1930 in favor of stone pavers.

French Postcard

So around the turn of the 20e century and long afterwards you could see the asphalt workers in the streets.
A wagon with boiling hot asphalt was pulled by a horse.
The asphalt was poured into buckets and distributed over the existing wooden cobblestones in the streets and on the sidewalks.
A tough and hot job.

Fernand Martin made a toy as a result of these diligent workers and put it on the market in 1903
The toy is about 26 cm / 10,2 inch long and was powered by a clockwork.
The man at the back is also driven by this clockwork, which makes it seem as if he rotates a rod, you can also see the same rod on the images of the real asphalt wagons.

Catalog image

Fernand Martin number 194

Fernand Martin toys “Jouets en Boites”.

This article is published in the June 2023 issue of ANTIQUE TOY WORLD monthly magazine. After publication in the ATW, this article has been slightly modified in a few places

These boxes contain very different toys than we know from Fernand Martin.
At the end of 1900, many toy manufacturers made little figures, mostly from tin/lead, wood, tinplate or a mixture of wood flour and glue, in Germany called “Masse” (such as Elastolin, Lineol etc.).

The smallest Martin figures like the chickens, ducks, goose etc. are made of tin/lead and massive.
The bigger Martin figures like the cows, dogs, sheep, building, fences, persons etc. are made of two kinds of metal, I tested them all with a magnet, the bottom plate is magnetic so tinplate and the figures, animals, etc. are not magnetic.
I think they are made of pewter (a ductile metal alloy of tin and other metals ) and soldered / welded to the bottom plate.
They are not massive but hollow on the inside, which makes them very light and all painted by hand.
These boxes have the Martin number 165 and were produced from 1898.

Number 165:

On this original catalog image are various numbers and texts.
The numbers are clear, what is striking is that number 5 is missing.
The first three numbers are about a village,
From number 4 and 6 till 9 you see behind each number 4 names
The translation of these names in English are : menangeriefarmhunting scene and shepherd.
So there must be a total of 23 different boxes
These boxes are very rare, but I have received two pictures from Frédéric Marchand of a box with a hunting scene.

Pictures courtesy Frédéric Marchand

On the box is also the text “No” but the number is not visible anymore and probably written earlier in pencil and almost completely disappeared in the last more than 120 years.
I tried to “edit” the image and I could very badly discover that there might have been a 7.

In my collection I have a nice group of a shepherd with his sheep and a group of a farmer with animals, both without the box.

This shepherd with his sheep was purchased from a large French toy dealer and he told me that these were determined by Frédéric Marchand as Martins, (Bergerie) but which box number is unknown.
The figures themselves do not have an FM logo or the like and I don’t know if it is complete.
The shepherd is about 7 cm high (2.76 inch) and the farmer is about 5,5 cm high ( 2,17 inch).

Number 166:

Catalog page: Wooden boxes with wooden decorations number 166
This is maybe one of the wooden boxes but not 100% certainty, the box label is gone. The animals and the person visible in the image belong to the Martin figures in this article.

Boxes with wooden and hand painted decorations with number 166.
These boxes with background decorations were sold complete with figures and animals, on the catalog pages is mentioned the text: “Animaux modelés d’après nature”, and that’s translated: “Animals modeled after nature
I count a total of 12 different boxes on the catalog page, but the numbers 20-21-22 and 50-51-52 are still a mystery to me!

But I found a little more.
One of the old original Fermand Martin catalogs contains an image of other boxes with animals and figures.
This box is not numbered in the catalog but is depicted immediately after the box number 165 “Jouets en Boites“.
This box contains figures and animals.
The French text is: Animaux & sujets en vrac. assortis à la grosse and that means: Animals & subjects in bulk. Assorted by the dozen. So they are extension boxes for the boxes with number 165 and 166 “.
According to the picture there are 3 different boxes with each a different assortment.

Extension box: assortment number 2

In this image of the Extension box: assortment number 2, you can also clearly see from the box of the Shepherd (Bergerie) and the box of the Farm (Ferme), the both type of sheep, cow, goat, donkey, dog, farmer and some of the animals from the box Hunting (Chasse) the wild boar, deer, fence and the two dogs.

Published in 2014

The catalog image “Extension box: assortment number 2” is not depicted in the book “Fernand Martin Toymaker in Paris 1878-1912”.
The toys that belonged to the numbers 163 to 166 were not clear to both authors at the time the book was made. ( see their comments on page 101 in this book )

Courtesy Massilia Toys

On an original poster by Fernand Martin from 1902 with a lot of toys from that time, there is an image with 12 pigs, with this image it is stated: Animaux sur cartes (Animals On Card). The card is marked FM in a circle and the well-known triangle with 138. So I assume that there were several different replenishment cards to supplement the boxes, whether these cards were given a separate number is unknown to me until now.

What also appears is that these same figures were probably also used in the articles with the numbers 131 to 143 from 1894.


In the book “Fernand Martin Toymaker in Paris 1878-1912” p. 101-102 the toys that belonged to the numbers 163 to 166 were not clear to both authors at the time the book was made. ( see their comments on page 101 in this book ) This article has brought some clarity, but there is still a lot is unclear.
In this article I present the articles numbered 165 and 166.
In the list of Martin articles in the period 1897 – 1898, there are two numbers left (numbers 163 and 164) of which we do not know for which article these are.
There is a possibility that these two numbers are for the “expansion boxes” and/or for the “animals on card”, but I have no proof of that yet.
Furthermore, the numbering on the original catalog page with article number 166 with the wooden boxes is still unclear.
It appears that many different boxes were sold with many different figures in each box, an enumeration of these is almost impossible.

Perhaps there are more figurines and boxes to be found among collectors.
If you have something like that, please let me know so that the “Martin” puzzle becomes a little more complete.

L’Homme de Corvée in two versions

According to the Martin book: Fernand Martin Toymaker in Paris. page 110 there are two versions of the L’ homme de corvée, Martin number 173, in the text on this page it is not clear why they differ. They both have different clothes and a different cap

This toy is mentioned in a French newspaper from 1900 and in the text in this newspaper it is mentioned that there are a French soldier and an English sailor.

Part of the text from the article: LES JOUETS DE L’ANNÉE in the French newspaper: Le Patriote de la Vendée 1900, Journal de Politique, Agricole et Commercial, Organe d’union Républicaine.

Translation: Then it is the “L’ homme de corvée”, a small French soldier or English sailor, depending on the country of destination, who operates a broom

I found another article in the magazine: La Charente December 18, 1900 indicating that the English sailor toy was produced especially for the English market.
a part of the text of that article:
Les Jouets Du Nouvel An
–Then there is – the “L’ homme de corvée” – a small English sailor or an French soldier, who operates a broom, the name depending on the country of destination.–

A catalog page /box label is known. It is also not known if two different boxes were released or if they were both sold in the same box, I presume in the same box as the instructions for use are written on this label are in French, English and Spanish.

French postcard

Photos courtesy Bertoia Auctions, Catalog label and postcard are from my own collection. French newspaper article source gallica.bnf.fr: Le Patriote de la Vendée 1900, Journal de Politique, Agricole et Commercial, Organe d’union Républicaine

New Postcard with a Martin toy

In a few previous blogs I showed postcards depicting Martin toys.




I have now been able to add a new postcard to my collection depicting a Martin toy and a few other French toys, on this card you can see the Le Petit Livreur

On the front of this postcard is the text : Jouets d’enfants mécaniques et á traction. On the back Grands magasins parisiens and the date 1920
This postcard is made in France 1995

Victor Bonnet pistols 5: Tape_Fort

Victor Bonnet produced various tin pistols in the period from 1919 to 1933.
The number we know now is 8 pieces but maybe we will discover more.
the list of the pistols known so far is:

The Victor Bonnet list with pistol models with article numbers
Le Pan-Pan 247
Flac 256
Bombarde 257
Le Pétard 258
Tape_Fort 262
Le Sans-Balle 264
Le Costaud 266
Le Corsaire ??

Here we present :

Name: Tape_Fort
Number: 262
Year of first production: 1929
Dimensions: 11,5 cm x 9 cm / 4,5 inch x 3,5 inch

catalog image
Image from the back of a Victor Bonnet bill from 1933

Magazine: Les Jouets et Jeux Anciens

This toy and old games magazine was the magazine of the Society of lovers of old toys and games, called Amateurs de jouets et jeux anciens.
Founded in 1905 by Henry René d’Allemagne, Léo Claretie and Arthur Maury
It counted, among other illustrious members, Sarah Bernhardt, the prefect of Police Lépine, Fernand Martin, Maugin, Rollet, the Baroness of Rothschild, the Duchess of Uzès and many more.

The Society had its headquarters at 215 Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris
I don’t know how many editions there have been but my copy is number 26 5th volume July – August 1909.

From my collection: number 26 from 1909

The first issue has the name Les Jouets et Jeux Anciens, this name has been changed in January 1907 in a new name: L’art & L’enfant.
The company will disappear with the First World War, probably the last number was number 55 from July-August 1914.

These illustrated bulletins are very rare because they were not sold but provided only to the members of the society.

The first volume published was in June 1905. The issue’s are abundantly illustrated with figures and plates, sometimes in color. This first issue contains a list of members with a total of 82 names.

In the toy book of Mary Hiller Automata & Machanical Toys from 1976 on page 165 you can read: A report from one such meeting in 1906 told of a cinematograph show witch not only pictured work going on at the factory of Fernand Martin but ended with little dramatic scenes wher the actors were actually the Martin “bonshommes”. Fernand Martin attended this meeting and was held at the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers on April 1 -1906

I received a copy of this report, which included the following text:

Then the whole series of well-known mechanical toys was paraded before us that are manufactured in the factory of Mr. Fernand Martin. Cinematographic films presented the workshops and the tools of this manufacture; hands showed the toys being made, turning them, turning them over, while the lecturer gave the explanation (very curious effect).
Then, finally, the cinematograph projected amusing and dramatic scenes, the actors of which were Mr. Martin’s’s mechanical little bonshommes.

Now we have to find this movie(s) , does this movie(s) still exist??? or is this movie(s) somewhere in an archive, maybe we’ll never know?

Special thanks to Mr. Claude Lamboley for providing the necessary information and images

Victor Bonnet pistols 4: Le Pétard

Victor Bonnet produced various tin pistols in the period from 1919 to 1933.
The number we know now is 8 pieces but maybe we will discover more.
the list of the pistols known so far is:

The Victor Bonnet list with pistol models with article numbers
Le Pan-Pan 247
Flac 256
Bombarde 257
Le Pétard 258
Tape_Fort 262
Le Sans-Balle 264
Le Costaud 266
Le Corsaire 269 ??

Here we present :

Name: Le Pétard
Number: 258
Year of first production: 1927
Dimensions: 11 cm x 8,5 cm / 4,5 inch x 3,35 inch

catalog immage

Catalog Victor Bonnet Toys from 1929

From my own collection

Here is a link to a catalog by Victor Bonnet from about 1929.
I found this catalog on the site of ATCA (Antique Toy Collectors of America) I only saw that they have a wrong date 1902, the Victor Bonnet period started in 1919 till 1933

Here the link to the ATCA: https://atca-club.org

The ATCA is a group of collectors who delight in the history and preservation of toys, who exchange information about toys, and willingly share their knowledge with other members and the public. We are all passionate in our collecting and seeking and encourage others who relive childhood dreams through the joy of collecting antique toys.
I have been given permission to post a link to this catalog in my blog.
Have fun browsing.

L’Oie – The goose

first production date : 1899
production number: 169
height: 20 cm / 7,87 inch produced by Fernand Martin

Picture from the 1908 catalog

After winding up, this goose walks forward step by step, in a very natural way, moving its neck from left to right in the tempo of its walk.

This goose was found with several different Martin keys and is marked on the bottom right with the round FM logo

Source: Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr newspaper: La Nature 1900

The accompanying text to this figure is:
Finally we find a goose gently shaking its neck, swinging from side to side, following the favorite movement of these birds, advancing little by little: “with majestic slowness”.
These small automatons are manufactured by Mr. Fernand Martin manufacturer of iron automatic and mechanical toys 88 Boulevard Menilmontant in Paris

In an earlier article I also wrote about this goose, it was then that the image of this goose was used on an edition of a piece of music composed by AD. Gauwin.