The different Fernand Martin, Georges Flersheim and Victor Bonnet keys

I wrote this blog over a year and a half ago but since there are questions about keys and readers also consider other types of keys for “Martin” keys, I have rewritten this blog and added the latest knowledge.
Not every key with the text “FM” on it is a Martin key.
With the Martin toys from the first and second period, so until 1912, there is only one toy with a separate key, see explanation below.
Victor Bonnet has made more toys with a separate key.
So pay attention to the key as best you can and don’t believe every seller.

In the base there are 6 recognizable keys
The first 4 are typical of the Martin keys.
Key 5 is typical of Georges Flersheim
Key 6 belong to the Victor Bonnet toys.

The numbers 3 and 5 seem the same but key 3 is made of round wire and key 5 is made of square wire

But of course there are exceptions.
I have searched in my photo archive or around 7,500 photos for different use of keys.
Here the exceptions that I have found (up to now) in my archive, in collections and in old Martin catalogs.

Fernand Martin:
Martin used a different key that is not listed in the picture above.
For example;
Le Traîneau Russe number 40
La Perruche number 36
Le Facteur De Chemin De Fer number 48
And the numbers 131 till 137, (in the book Fernand Martin Toymaker in Paris on page 101) Sujets Avec Et Sans Mécanique
One Martin toy has a separate key (number 213 Le Petit Culbuteur ), this is the only model from Martin with a separate key (see photo below) this key was connected to the box with a ribbon. (I have found this model key more than 5 times in the past with this toy complete with the box and some still attached with a red ribbon to the box, so I am pretty sure it is the original key)

Original Martin key from the Le Petit Culbuteur

Georges Flersheim:
Flersheim has produced at least 20 own toy models of which:
-10 models have a model 5 key that we are now for sure,
-1 a fixed key (number 246 Je Sonne La Paix)
-With 4 we don’t know for sure, these are soldiers with the numbers 235 – 236 – 244 and 245
The next 4 have Martin keys:
-Number 228 Le Motocycle Enragé
-From the Le Motocycliste number 231 two keys are known, the Martin key and the Georges Flersheim key
-La Guerre Aérienne with number 240
-Number 243 the French Soldier is produced with a Martin key or a Flersheim key.
-and the only from we don’t know the exact number till now is the: “Le Poilu” see my blog: he has a Martin number 3 key.

Victor Bonnet:
Number 251 Le Ramier is found in three different versions, with a Bonnet type key, with a Georges Flersheim type key and with a separate key.
Madelon Casseuse D’assiettes number 260 has a Bonnet type key, but there are also found exemples with a George Flersheim type key.
Four models of the “Victor Bonnet Bonshommes” are found with a separate key:
number 252 – l’homme toupie
number 259 – L’entraineur skiff
number 263 – la patinette
number 265 – voiture nounou poupon

l’homme toupie with a Separate key

There will probably be other pieces with different keys.
If you find a Martin with a different key, email me and preferably with a photo.

Een gedachte over “The different Fernand Martin, Georges Flersheim and Victor Bonnet keys

  1. Most interesting Cor! That’s the kind of reading one should have during advent.
    Can’t wait for new posts.

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