Spinning Tops – The Walzing Couple’s from Fernand Martin and other manufacturers

Martin has produced two tops in his very early years.
The French name is Les Valseurs and first made in 1885

Left the patent sheet from 1885 and on the right the drawing in La Nature 1886 page 80 Source: (Cnum – Digital Conservatory of Arts and Crafts – http://cnum.cnam.fr)


He has applied for a patent in France for these two differend tops, on each boxes found, there is a different patent number, See the book: Fernand Martin Toymaker in Paris on pag. 45..
The English company Britain has also introduced the same type of top on the market at about the same time and has applied for a patent in England.
These tops were made more often, it can be without justifying the patents, or by paying the patent holder or even by committing plagiarism
Furthermore, before 1900 you had to apply for a patent in every country, but that was not done because the costs were sometimes quite high.
The entire patent event in the late 18th century was not as well regulated as it is today.

There are more of this kind of tops:

I now know that there are a total of 8 different tops, but maybe there are more. Here an overview of the tops I now till now.:

Fernand Martin…………………Fernand Martin………………………….Ives………………………………………Britains
George Heyde………………………George Heyde…………………..unknown Germany……………..unknown USA

-Martin two pieces from 1885 (patent numbers: Brevete S.G.D.G. 56946 and 169754)
-The United States company Ives one exemple, this one looks a lot like one of the Martins.
-The English Britains 1 piece from about 1884, a patent was also applied. (patent number 13671).
-Two pieces by George Heyde from Dresden Germany, presumably around 1885
-And two unknown makers of which one made from cast iron so presumably from the United States and 1 piece with partial tinplate, this one is probably from Germany.

Brevete S.G.D.G.

Breveté S.G.D.G. is the name of a patent as it was in France until 1968.
The term stands for “Breveté Sans Guarantee of Government” and means: “Patent without government guarantee”.
Many countries adhered to a system of registration for a simple formal exam over many years.
One believed himself free from any liability.
In France, the Law of 1844 provides that the patents shall be issued “without prior examination, at the risk and risk of claimants and without guarantee of function, novelty and merit of the invention, also with regard to precision or accuracy of description”.


The principle is the same for all spinning tops.

In the middle of the female, just above the skirt, is a small rod, you put a loop of a string around it and then turn the skirt around by hand so that the string wraps around the waist.
The female stand not completely upright but that is the intention.
The female stands on a kind of pin under the feet, this is loose and therefore it can turn completely.

By placing the dance couple on the floor and then pulling the string tightly, the skirt starts turning quickly,
Because of the center-flying power, the female stands up and the male turns around the female.
Almost 130/140 years old and very rare to find, but they are so beautiful.
These tops are not only wanted and sought after by “Martin” collectors but also by spinning top collectors.

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