But there is one exception;
This toy maker from Paris has made very nice “Martin” look and likes.
This manufacturer is named S.I.J.I.M. with director Prosper Levi.
He started this factory in 1909 but with the rise of the first world war he disappeared quickly in 1917.
S.I.J.I.M. means: Société Industrielle de jouets et d’inventions mécaniques.
He has not made many pieces but a few very beautiful.
The best seller and known is the organ grinder : le joueur d’orgue, this is often referred to as Martin.
But he has also made less well-known pieces.
32 La Poussette. (The Stroller)
33 Le Joueur d’orgue. (The Organ Player)
34 Les Chevaux Hygieniques ( Hygienic Horses)
35 L’apprenti Cavalier. ( The Rider Apprentice)
36 Le Livreur Rapide ( The Fast Delivery Man)
? no number known.
Le Soute Mouton. (The leap frog. Presumably S.I.J.I.M. but no certainty yet)
This toy was depicted in a magazine from the department store Choumara Paris in 1912 togehter with other S.I.J.I.M. , Martin and other toys.
see pictuer below.
The likely reason that they look so much like Martins is that the manufacturer, Proper Levi, would have been a former employee of the Fernand Martin factory.
I don’t know if that’s right, but he copied a lot and made his own toy after the good example and style of Fernand Martin.
And not without success because its models are very beautiful.
Even the key is a copy of a “Martin” key
As I said before, there are many more imitations that are sold as Martins, so stay allert and pay attention.
An imitation doesn’t have to be ugly, if you like it, that’s fine, buy it and enjoy it.
All photos are from my own collection or courtesy of Michael Bertoia Auctions