LA PERRUCHE – THE PARAKEET from 1892

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:

Translation:
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.

https://www.cinematheque.fr/video/2082.html

ENJOY…

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:

le-livreur-description-of-the-patent-number-186948

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

Martin-Lehmann
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!
VIOLET-JEAN.

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).

NEW YEAR’S DAY BARACKS 1894/1895

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.

Detail

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:

 course-de-taureaux-the-bull-fighter

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

INFORMATION ON AUCTION 278

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
Hand-lacquered
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

FACTORY BRAND
FRENCH TOY
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

The only picture I have from the model “Le Corsaire” from a JEP catalog

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

FIRST FIND

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/

THE BACK

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.

SECOND FIND

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:
https://www.spielzeugauktion.de/?&lang=en

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:
https://www.spielzeugauktion.de/?&lang=en

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:

TOYS

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.

Conclusion:

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.

fernand-martin-and-postcards

personal-postcard-from-fernand-martin

postcards-with-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:

Translation:
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.

Original antique stereo glass plate of a sale booth with Martin toys.

This very rare and original stereo glass plate is in the private possession of Bruno Cirla and Christophe Feraud from Massilia Toys in Marseille
The photo was taken at the World Exhibition in Liège, Belgium in 1905 by Jules Richard.

Jules Richard was a French photographer, businessman and instrument maker. He was the inventor and manufacturer of the Verascope stereographic cameras.

Courtesy Massilia Toys

If you look closely at the photo you can clearly see that on the table are a whole group of Fernand Martin toys.

On the left you see a part of een statue ( in white the base and in black a part of the table ) this colossal statue was a personifying the Toy Fairy distributing toys.

Courtesy Massilia Toys

On the side of: www.worldfairs.info there is an report of this World exhibition in Liège in 1905. you can read that there were toys in the section “BIMBELOTERIE” , in the names you can recognize that they must be Fernand Martin toys.

The French text: …les petits automates: la portière, la boulangère, la marchande d’oranges, le pompier, l’avocat gesticulant au bout de ses grandes et larges manches, le pianiste véhément, le cuisinier et combien d’autres encore.

Translation: …the little automatons: the portress, the baker, the orange seller, the fireman, the lawyer gesticulating at the end of his big and wide sleeves, the vehement pianist, the cook and how many others besides.

Don’t miss the July 2023 issue of the Antique Toy World Magazine

An overview of the contents of the new Antique Toy World Magazine July 2023 :

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

S.I.J.I.M. toys that look like “Martin” toys

This article is published in the August 2020 issue of the ATW Antique Toy World magazine. https://antiquetoyworld.com/about-atw/

Updated version with new facts:

S.I.J.I.M.
This toy maker from Paris made very nice toys.
This manufacturer is named S.I.J.I.M. and the director was Prosper Lévi.
He started his factory in 1909 but the firm ceased to exist in 1913 or 1914.
S.I.J.I.M. means: Société Industrielle de jouets et d’inventions mécaniques.

Prosper Lévi had his trademarks protected in France on July 23, 1909 and internationally on September 20, 1909.

International Trademarks Industrial Property supplement organ of the International Bureau of the Union for the Protection of Industrial Property (source BNF Gallica)

REGISTRATIONS MADE AT THE INTERNATIONAL OFFICE.
The INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION of obove trademarks is done through the intermediary of the administration of the country of origin of the trademark. It currently provides trademarks with legal protection in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and in Tunisië

We know very little about this company, maybe we will find out more in the future and maybe we will find unknown catalogs.
He has not made many different pieces but what he made was beautiful.

Courtesy Toy Museum Soltau (“Spielmuseum Soltau”) in Germany,

Between the S.I.J.I.M. factory and the Fernand Martin factory was in 1912 a lawsuit, this lawsuit was about the Le Rapide Livreur from S.I.J.I.M. and the Petit Livreur from Fernand Martin.
Prosper Lévy from (S.I.J.I.M.) accused Fernand Martin having committed plagiarism.

Le Rapide Livreur. courtesy Bertoia auctions
The Martin Le Petit Livreur
A part of page 1 of the patent of Prosper Lévi that the lawsuit was about
A part of page 3 of the patent of Prosper Lévi that the lawsuit was about

If you look closely at Lévi’s patent you will see in the header a text in squared brackets.
translation: [ Guarantee certificate delivered to M. Jules Boucheron (of whom Mr. Lévi is assignee) on the occasion of the 10th Lépine Contest of toys and articles de Paris opend in Paris the August 12, 1910]

It just means that Jules Boucheron assigned his invention to Mr. Lévi at the occasion of the 10th Lépine Contest.
This means that Mr Lévi was not the inventor of this toy but that was Jules Boucheron.
Jules Boucheron was a small inventor probably without production opportunities and infrastructure.
Many toy manufacturers including Martin bought the rights from small inventors at the “Concours Lépine”.

In July 1914 Fernand Martin give a statement on the alleged allegations of plagiarism and the resulting lawsuit as mentioned above:
COMMUNICATES
We receive from our colleague, Mr. Fernand Martin, the following note with a request to insert: We are pleased to take that the infringement action brought by Mr. Levi against Mr. F. Martin, for a toy called “The Delivery Person” will not be followed up, Mr. Levi having recognized that it is wrongly and without right gull has assigned Mr. Martin in infringement. For his part, Mr. Martin, in the presence of this declaration, waived his claim for damages. The case is therefore closed.

July 1914, From the French magazine “Le Jouet Francias” the official organ of the Chambre Syndicale des Fabricants de Jouets, jeux & engins sportifes.

Martin kept his “Petit Livreur” in production and it was equally produced till in the 1930’s by Victor Bonnet and probably even into the 1950s bye his sons.

Pictures from the magazine of Choumara Paris in 1912
On the right, S.I.J.I.M. toys togehter with Martin toys and other toys.

The best selling and known toy was the organ grinder: le joueur d’orgue, even till nowadays this is often referred to as a Martin. But you can see on the box and on the catalog page that it is clearly a S.I.J.I.M. toy.

But S.I.J.I.M. has also made less well-known pieces.
See these two pages of a catalog of S.I.J.I.M.

These two pages contain the following toys.
Number 32 La Poussette. (The Stroller)
Number 33 Le Joueur d’orgue. (The Organ Player)
Number 34 Les Chevaux Hygieniques (Hygienic Horses)
Number 35 L’apprenti Cavalier. (The Rider Apprentice)
Number 36 Le Rapide Livreur (The Fast Delivery Man)
I don’t know if more toys are made because it is weird to start with number 32.
There is 1 piece which is probably also made by S.I.J.I.M., it is the Le Saute Mouton. (The leap frog)
This, Le Saute Mouton. (The leap frog), toy was depicted in a magazine from the Choumara Paris store in 1912 together with other S.I.J.I.M. , Martin and other toys.

courtesy Bertoia auctions : Le Saute Mouton

From 1897 many toy manufacturers place the famous triangle with the text “Article Francais” and around it the text “Marque Deposee” , under the triangle a number, this sign was exclusively granted by the Chambre Syndicale des Fabricants de Jouets to French toymakers who requested it. The number just reflects the order of the request in the sequence of the requests.
So this number was different per manufacturer.
Take a good look at the catalog page, you will also see this triangle by S.I.J.I.M. has been given number 248.
Martin had the number 138, here you can see how important this number could be to find out which manufacturer has produced a toy.

Mr Lévi made his own toys and many toys are in the “style” of the Fernand Martin and Flersheim toys.
And not without success because his models are very beautiful.
Like many toy manufacturers, a lot of ideas was copied from competitors.
As an example, compare the boy in the chair of Martin ( Le jeune ecuyer ) and the one of Lévi (L’apprenti Cavalier) same “idea” but with a different chair position and a different moving action. Who borrowed from whom ??

Lévi (L’apprenti Cavalier)
Courtesy Toy Museum Soltau (“Spielmuseum Soltau”) in Germany,
Martin ( Le jeune ecuyer )

The mechanisms of these S.I.J.I.M. toys are different from those of Martin, often more sophisticated and of a better quality and therefore more expensive to produce.
However, this did not result in a higher selling price than Fernand Martin/ Flersheim’s toys, but lack of profitability seems to be the reason for the cessation of activity in 1913 or 1914 just before the start of the First World War.
Now most of these S.I.J.I.M. toys are rarer than Martin, Flersheim and Victor Bonnet toys and are traded at very good prices.

A thank you to Frederic Marchand for the permission to use the two catalog pages and the additional information.

All toys with without reference are from my collection

cor@vanschaijk.com

Blog: www.fernandmartintoys.nl

Victor Bonnet pistols 3: Bombarde

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: Bombarde
Number: 257
Year of first production: 1925
Dimensions: 11,5 cm x 8,5 cm / 4,5 inch x 3,35 inch

Patent number is FR 617259_A d.d. October 10-1925

catalog immage

Result Martin toys in the Antico Mondo auction june 2 and 3-2023

See the catalog of the 97th Toy Auction online!

This auction features more than 2200 items of tin toys, trains, figures and model cars and this time with two Fernand Martin / Victor Bonnet toys.

Result: € 300
Result: € 500

This is a room bidding but you can also take part in the online bidding live via telephone, register your written predids or using the auction platforms lot-tissimo, the-saleroom and liveauctioneers and Sixbid you are able to to bid online. So you can submit your bids in real time during the auction. Therefor it is necessary to register on the platform of your choice not later than 24 hours before the auction starts.

The easiest way to participate in our auctions is to use our online catalogue. Here you can view all the items and directly place written pre-bids. See the catalog in the link below. You can also read the catalog in English

Catalog : https://auktionen.anticomondo.de/en/objekte?aid=50&Lstatus=0

We hope you enjoy reading and browsing through the new catalog!

The result 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

La Grosse Caisse from 1889

A fairly unknown toy from 1889.
A man standing on a platform and beats the drum and the cymbals of the rubber band mechanism.

This toy has been given product number 111

From my personel collection

We also know that Martin got his ideas from everywhere.
I saw in an old catalog: La nouvelle revue parisienne from 1894 an advertisement for a shooting game consisting of a rifle and a target, but on top of the target is a figure.
If you hit the target the figure hits the bass drum and the cymbals.

Courtesy François Binetruy, Brocante de l’Orangerie Versailles France

Martin probably noticed this too and 5 years later he made a toy out of it and put it on the market, now with a rubber band mechanism, after winding up, the man hits the bass drum and the cymbals.

Courtesy Bertoia Auctions

The Antiques Centre Amsterdam, the Largest in Holland.

If you ever want to visit Amsterdam, be sure to visit this antique center, it is definitely worth it for toy collectors.

The Antiques Centre Amsterdam is a paradise for the connoisseur of unique objects from all different periods and styles. At a floor space of over 1700 m2 you will find not only a wide and surprising range of 17th, 18th and 19th century antiques and Art Deco, but also art, bric-à-brac, stylish vintage and designs of the fifties, sixties and seventies.

The Antiques Centre Amsterdam is the largest indoor antique market of the Netherlands. We have an enormous selection, provided by 55 specialized antique dealers, who offer a constantly changing and very impressive collection of antique jewellery, splendid lighting, crystal chandeliers, silver, special miniatures, objects the vertu, tableware, military objects, toys, rare ceramics, delicate porcelain, Murano glass, impressive bronze statues, Delft Blue, paintings, wall decorations and even small furniture. And besides all this there are also different display cases with unique and special collector’s items for sale.

Whatever you are looking for, you will find it at the Antiques Centre Amsterdam. Whether it is to decorate your house, a utensil, an original gift, an acquisition for your collection or a striking prop for a photoshoot.

The Antiques Centre Amsterdam is located in the centre of Amsterdam, at the Elandsgracht 109. The Elandsgracht is the gateway to the popular shopping area The Nine Streets.

From the different display cases with unique and special collector’s items are display cases with antique toys. Toys from the well-known toys from manufacturers known to us, including of course Fernand Martin.
The stock changes constantly because the various traders replenish their sold items.

Antiekcentrum Amsterdam
Elandsgracht 109
1016 TT Amsterdam

Tel: +31 (0)20 624 90 38
info@antiekcentrumamsterdam.nl

Open:
Monday: 11:00 – 18:00
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 11:00 – 18:00
Thursday: 11:00 – 18:00
Friday: 11:00 – 18:00
Saturday: 11:00 – 17:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00

Pictures courtesy :
Barry and Leo van der Waal
Arnaud ter Haak of the Antique Center Amsterdam

Louis Poyet and Fernand Martin

updated version:

In a previous blog from 13 April, I show you a drawing of the Rabbit from Martin, this drawing was made by Louis Poyet.

Louis Poyet (born in Saint-Etienne, 1846 – died in Paris, 1913) was a draftsman, etcher and French illustrator known for his work that he made together with scientists, industrialists and engineers.

Louis Poyet moved to Paris and in 1877 he opened his own print studio.

Advertising from 1886 in the magazine Le Chercheur

His workshop had around 40 craftsmen
He started working for Gaston Tissandier as an Illustrator / writer for the La Nature magazine, for which he continued to work until his death.
He signed with “Poyet” and sometimes “L. Poyet”.

He has made many beautiful etchings for Martin that have been published in, among others, the magazine: La Nature

Here some examples.
Source: (Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr)

He also worked on several books and magazines so as:

-The book of Charles Masson, published in 1884 entitled: The scientific recreation for education and play.

-The magazine: Le Chercheur from Arthur Good

-Poyet was also one of the industrial illustrators of images for the book series Les Grandes Usines published by Michel Levy from 1876 till 1881.

-In 1889 he worked for Tom Tit (pseudonym of Arthur Good engineer) with which he worked on:
The Recreational Science section in the L’Illustration magazine
The Fun Science a booklet with 100 Experiments, with 115 Drawings in 1890.
This first booklet was again published in 1893 and then followed by two completely new editions.

The success factor of this series was enormous
Translations were sold in 1891 in Spain, England, the United States, Scandinavia, Russia.
There are around 130 different editions of these three volumes, released until the 1920s.

To complete the circle, one of Martin’s toys, the Le “Tom Tit” Martin number 157 (See in the 2014 book: Fernand Martin toymaker in Paris on page 95 ) was based on one of the experiments from Tom Tit; La rotation de la Terre

Below you see on the left the drawing from the book “La Science Amusant” van Tom Tit, this drawing was made by Louis Poyet, on the right an image from a page of a catalog by Fernand Martin

After the death of Louis Poyet in 1913 his studio was taken over by his sons Roger in Raphael, under the name “Poyet Brothers”.

Victor Bonnet pistols 2: Flac

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: Flac
Number: 256
Year of first production: 1927
Dimensions: 8,5 cm x 7 cm / 3,35 inch x 2,76 inch

Catalog picture

Victor Bonnet pistols 1: Le Pan-Pan

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 Pan pan
Number: 247
Year of first production: 1919
Dimensions: 11,5 cm x 9 cm / 4,5 inch x 3,5 inch

catalog image
The inside
This model is also produced in a different color box
A store sale box, packed by the dozen, picture courtesy E.T.

Le facteur de Chemin de fer from 1894

This toy is a platform employee of a train station and dated from 1894.
In the books known to us, this toy has the Martin product number 48, but the latest discoveries show that there are two models and that they are numbered 123 and 124.

This person was responsible for transporting passengers suitcases, luggage and packages to and from the trains.

Courtesy Bertoia Auctions (in front you see the round FM logo)

These two versions are different, there is one version with a flywheel drive and another with a mechanical wind-up drive. These two different versions are clearly distinguishable. The version with flywheel has one tin case for the cart, in this case the flywheel is hidden.

These two different versions can be clearly distinguished.
The version with a flywheel has one tin case for the cart, in this case is hidden the flywheel.

Courtesy Bertoia auctions – model with flywheel

The version with the mechanical drive is relatively unknown, I only discovered one copy in the collection of the French museum Musée des arts and Métiers – Le cnam.
The version with the winding mechanism is presumably provided with two paper-wrapped packages. (see the pictures in this museum)

As the photos of the museum contain a copyright, I cannot show it here, but a digital visit to the site is worth looking at, see this link:
https://phototheque.arts-et-metiers.net/?idPageWeb=95
enter the keyword “Fernand Martin” at “rechercher“.
The photos you can find at the numbers 0000558_052 up to and including 0000558_056 and at the numbers 0001664-045 and 0000558-174

On the drawing below and on the photos of the museum you can see that a different model key has been used here, this is one of the deviations from the keys known to us that Martin normally used.

Source: (Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr magazine La Nature 1894 page 87)
Image in the catalog from 1898

On this catalog page the drawing is of the version with mechanism and if you look closely you can see at the bottom left of the drawing:
Number 123 — avec volant . (Translated: with flywheel)
Number 124 — mechanique. (Translated: with Mechanism)

A super rare toy.

Martin toys on YouTube

On YouTube, Mr. Jean Brun from France has made 5 beautiful videos about Fernand Martin toys and his successors.
The lyrics are in French but the video’s are still beautiful to look at.
These videos can be viewed below.

These 5 video’s together are almost 80 min, so take your time, to make them that must have been a lot of work and time.

These YouTube videos are also listed separately in my menu under: “FIND ARTICLE“, the search page for specific articles; chapter 6 – Movies, I have had these videos in my “FIND ARTICLE” menu page for several weeks now, but now I bring them to your attention so that you can see and enjoy them.

Le Petit Patineur / The skater boy

first production date : 1912
production number: 229
height: 20 cm / 7,87 inch produced by Georges Flersheim

I have never seen a box with a label myself, but in the book: Fernand Martin Toy Maker in Paris 1878-1912 by Lourens Bas and Arthur Verdoorn, a label is depicted on page 188

Courtesy: Spielmuseum Soltau Germany
Image from an article in the: Le Petit Journal January 01 – 1914

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 Petit Patineur” that looks very much like the Flersheim version.

The original inventor of this toy is Mr. Boucheron, 4, rue de l’Eglise, in Vitry-sur-Seine . Source picture : (Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr magazine La Nature 1911

Part of the patent applied by Georges Flersheim
Another part of the patent applied by Georges Flersheim

Result Bertoia ANNUAL SPRING auction Friday, March 24- 2023

Highlighted by the Phil & Joan Steel collection including Martins & Lehmanns, automatons, penny toys, lucxury autos & race cars from the Bill Gelles racing Collection, early table games, trains & airplanes, and more!

In this auction there are this time a lot of Martin, Flersheim and Bonnet toys and some are very rare but of course there are many more beautiful and interesting toys in this auction.

The Bertoia team is dedicated to offering our quality customer service, experience and support.
Do not hesitate to contact us for assistance with registration, bidding or any other questions.

For the complete overview, Auction terms & Info, Shipping & Payment look at this site: http://www.bertoiaauctions.com/

These result prices are in US $ 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

The first Martin toy: The real swimming fish

Martin started in 1875 with his first attempts to make toys but in 1878 the first real toy was a real swimming fish with patent number 128445 from Jan-01-1879

This Fish is about 19 cm / 7,5 inc long.

Courtesy: Toy Museum in Soltau Germany

In the early days Martin used a rubber band (elastic) as the drive.
By turning it on, the toy started to move.
The system consists mainly of a crank, a rubber band and a movement mechanism.
The drive mechanism was adjusted for each toy, such as up and down, right, left, spinning etc.

The first piece of Martin: the fish from 1878 Poisson Nageur and as you see Martin started with the product number 100

Page from the Catalog 1898 (from my personal collection)
Drawing Source La Nature : (Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr)

The crank is in the nose, inside the fish is the rubber band and the mechanism is on the tail.

Parts: between the both hooks coms the rubber band, see below
This demo model is made with an original crank and the mechanism with the tail.

In this demo model you can see clearly the mechanism in operation,
By turning the crank and hold the tail, the rubber band is tightened (twisted)
The other side of the rubber band is hooked onto the movement mechanism, the tail.
When you release the tail again, the tail swings from right to left so that the illusion of swimming is simulated.
Simple but effective.

The only drawback is that the rubber band can age and then break quickly.
If it breaks, the hook and mechanism will fall off and mostly get lost.

Martin sold the patent for a swimming fish with a rubber band engine to the Englisch company Cremer Dolls Toys Games 210 Regent street London and that was the beginning of his fortune, he started in 1880 his first factory.

Courtesy: Pook & Pook with Noel Barrett

Le Petite Pianiste

Martin number: 189

First production in 1902

Dimensions: 13.5 X 15.5 cm / 5,3 inch 6,1 inch

A very nice toy with movement and music. After winding up, the pianist moves his hands from left to right over the keyboard and a piece of music sounds. Even our grandchildren can watch and listen with pleasure to this special piece of history.

This Le Petite Pianiste won a prize in 1901 during the first major Concours Lepine in Paris, during this competition Fernand Martin bought the rights from the inventor Mr. Bosquet, Martin then produced it himself and sales started in 1902. 

Source: BNF Gallica Bulletin des lois de la République Française January 01-1903
Picture from the original 1908 catalog

From the Le Petite  Pianiste are two versions that do not differ on the outside, the difference is in the melody, one for the French-speaking market and one for the English-speaking market.  

French song: J’ai du bon tabac

Englisch song: God save the King

There is also a very rare version known, the pianist is a woman, I have seen one on the internet, it was part of an collection of an American collector, and the second known was owned by a friend of mine and is currently on display in the toy museum in Germany in the city ​​of Soltau. Even if this version is not an original, it turned out very well.

Courtesy “Spielzeugmuseum” Soltau Germany

We see Le petit pianiste with and without hair, it could be that in the later years the competition with the German toy import became too high and cutbacks had to be made, on many toys were cut backs like cheaper material, fewer handling in the production, fewer parts and presumably the wig disappeared from this pianist.

The cuts were not big, but you can also see that with the labels on the boxes, they became smaller, which is a very small cut, but given the very large production, it was ultimately a big cut. less storage, less paper and less glue.

assembling the piano

Both pictures from: The English illustrated magazin dec. 1905

applying the hair to the pianist
Inside vieuw, picture from the magazine Femina december 12- 1902

At the time, this pianist was already a lot more expensive than other Martin toys, this had to do with the very complex mechanism, which meant that not only the material costs, but especially the labor costs, were a lot higher. But when I see how many are left, he must have sold well.

look at the prices. Magazine : Revue des Nouveautés January 1910