Fernand Martin, The squirrel in a cage from 1908

Picture courtesy toy museum Soltau Germany

A tin toy made in 1908 with the Fernand Martin product number 211 and the French name is: Le Petit Écureuil Vivant

Dimensions: 22 x 15 cm ( 8,66 inches x 5,91 inches )

page from the 1908 catalog

Mr Léonin Noguier from Paris was the designer in 1906 of this toy and had the patent.
In an article about the “Concours de Lépine” in the newspaper La Liberté from September 21, 1906, this toy was already recommended.
Martin, presumably during this “Concours de Lépine in 1906”, bought the rights to this patent from Mr. Noguier to make this toy a success.
These toys are regularly offered at various fairs and auctions.

On the side is a winding key, after winding the blue part with the bars starts to rotate around and it looks like the squirrel is running.

Pictures from auctions on the side: Live auctioneers

In the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, squirrels locked in a rather small cage were very popular.
Many models have been produced and you can see where Martin got his inspiration from.
An area to rest, eat and sleep and a running wheel for the squirrel to run in.
You can still see this walking wheel in current modern hamster cages.
The old antique models are mainly made of wood and tin.

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