Le Cab (The Hansom Cab)

Three “different” versions of the “Le Cab” were made in the period between 1889 and 1919.

These vehicles were the means of transport in the city in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they were actually the first taxis

Fernand Martin launched the first version of the Le Cab in 1889.
The carriage had no passenger section and no side windows.
This first edition has 35 metal separate parts, (that is what you can count on the drawing), to build and complete the hole toy.
That did not include the rein so actually 36 parts in total.

The Le Cab from 1889 in parts.

Below you see an original box label and an image from the original catalog.
If you look very closely you will see differences.
1- The four corners of the box label are not richly decorated.
2- Below the triangle with number 138 are on the box label data of various gold medals that Martin has won.
3- the “instructions” are different in width and the number of lines is different, on the box label the lines are wider then on the catalog image.
4- Below the legs of the horse the text “Made In France” appears on the catalog image and not on the box label.
5- On the right and left of the FM logo are small decorations on the box label.

Photo courtesy of l’Orangerie – François Binetruy
Page from the 1908 catalog from my own collection

This first version was driven by a flywheel mechanism.
There is one known copy complete with box, so very rare.
What is striking is that this box is also numbered with number 110 (but more about this number in one of the following blogs)

Photo courtesy of l’Orangerie – François Binetruy

In 1903 Martin released this same toy again in a slightly modified version, now with a passenger section and also open side windows and a complete new box label.
It got number 192.

Photo courtesy of Bertoia auctions
from my own collection; left the 1912 version, right the 1903 version

The coach of this version came in the black / red color combination.
The drive was now a wind-up mechanism and with the recognizable Martin key.
This toy was marked on the inside of the passenger section and on the backsite above the key .

In the Flersheim period from 1912, the Le Cab was re-released, the version was almost the same as the Martin version from 1903 and the Martin number remained the same with 192.
This version is only marked on the roof with the well nown triangel marker. This version also had a wind-up mechanism but now with a Martin or Flersheim key.
It was sold in multiple colors.
I have come across this Flersheim version with the coach, so far, in the following colors
Lower part of the sides – Upper part of the sides – the back and roof.
-Blue – black – black
-Blau – blue – black
-Green – green – green
-Light brown – light brown – light brown.

2 images from my own collection (brown en bleu one), 1 from a private collection (green one and 1 image ( black/bleu one) with courtesy of Bertoia auctions

What is also striking in this version and recognizable as Flersheim is that the fixing tabs for fixing from the back to the sides are bent backwards / outwards.
With the Martin version, these tabs are always facing inwards.

Left the Martin version ——————–Right the Flersheim version

Yet another deviation is that for the toys of which the carriage is completely colored, (the green and light brown version) the colors appear to be “sprayed”, but that they were only sprayed after the carriage was already partially assembled.
If you look closely at the carriage, you will find color residues on the drive section, the rods to the horse, but only on the inside at the location of the wind-up mechanism, the key and also on the inside of the rear lower protruding ornament parts.

The horse was used many years by Martin, Flersheim and Victor Bonnet for divers toys:
number 25 Le Cab version with fly wheel from 1889.
number 42 de Le Courrier Parisien in 1892.
number 192 Le Cab version with a wind-up mechanism from 1903 and 1912
number 194 de La Voiture A Bitume in 1906.
number 203 de Le Laboureur in 1906.
number 255 La Charrette Paysanne used by Victor Bonnet in 1927.

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