(update of an article from 2019)
This sled with horse is a special and very wanted toy.
It is a Fernand Martin from the first period, mentioned in the well-known books under number 40, according to the new discoveries it must be number 116 (see the catalog immage below) , produced from 1892
This toy is 20cm (7.87 inch) long and 10cm (3.94 inch) high
The sled contains a clockwork drive with a different key as we are used to, this is one of the “deviations” of the keys that we know.
It is probably made especially for the Russian market because the currently known boxes and the image in an original old catalog are provided with a Russian text.
The text on the box is partly in Russian, thanks to a Russian reader
I get the translation from this Russian text and that is: “The Russian Sledges. New Mechanical Automatic Toy”
In the first drawing you see the parts that are needed to make the sled, there are 44 pictured but I have to mention that in total only 33 parts are needed because the drawing contains various parts in the unprocessed and processed state.
As an example, part number 3 is the same as part 5, number 11 is the same as number 13 and there are a few more examples.
The only part that is not show is the reins.
On the second drawing you see the compleet toy and a section of the mechanism.
“Conquete du pole Nord“
Almost the same sled was used 17 years later in 1909 number 217 by Martin for the “Conquete du pole Nord” Discovery of the North Pole.
This toy was made by Martin in honor of the conquest of the North Pole by US Navy engineer Robert Peary, who claimed to have reached the Pole on April 6, 1909.
Martin takes another figure on the sled of the “le Traîneau Russe” and instead of the horse he used four dogs and added a pole.
The sled is connected to the pole by means of a string and, after winding, drive around the pole