This article was posted in 2019 but because of new facts, the article has now been edited.
In 1885, Fernand Martin made a bell ringer, Martin number 102, and calling him “Le Sonneur Endiable”, in older Fernand Martin books you see number 14 but that number is wrong and given without proof by the writers.
It is one of the first Martin toy with a lot fun.
But the Georges Flersheim factory took it more then almost 35 years later and re-released it with a few changes.
They renamed him “Je Sonne La Paix” and it got number 246
The “Je Sonne La Paix” is in English: “I ring [for] the peace“, in other words “I ring [to celebrate] the peace” referring the celebration of the end of the WW1 on November 11- 1918, in which Flersheim himself fought and died.
If you look quickly, you see almost no differences but they are indeed there.
Here the differences in detail:
-the Martin version (102) has the FM name stamped on top of the base plate in the Flersheim version (246) no text is stamped on top of this base, but there is a piece of fabric on the side with the name “Je Sonne La Paix” printed on it.
-If you look at both toys at the bottom, you see, under the male figure at the Martin (102) , an elongated piece of iron mounted as a weight and at the Flersheim (246) a solid plate is soldered and stamped the round FM logo on it.
-The Martin version (102) has a rubber band drive, that of Flersheim (246) a long spiral spring in the pole.
-At the top there is a French flag at the Flersheim (246), for this a hollow pipe has been placed in the roof for the iron flagpole with a fabric French flag.
-The bell has also been given a slightly slender shape by Georges Flersheim.
-The roof off number 102 is found with different reliefs, one just like the roof of the 246 in red with tiles and found with stipes in a yellow/gold paint.
It is currently the last piece that is still numbered in the Flersheim period.
It is certain that after the death of Georges Flersheim more, till now, unknown toys were produced, time will tell which and how much.
It is strange that the number 246 has been used twice.
Under this number by Victor Bonnet in 1919, his first produced toy is also numbered 246, it is the “Le Auto Transport” WHY???
The images / pictures used are with courtesy of Michael Bertoia, E.T. and from the own collection