Fernand Martin toys: Le Vaillant Boer and The Gentleman in Khaki
Martin has released two soldiers who fought in South Africa in the same war, just not on the same side but against each other.
The “Le Vaillant Boer” was a soldier who fought on the side of the Dutch-speaking farmers, the “The Gentleman in Khaki” was an English soldier.
The word Khaki is derived from the typical gray-yellow color of the clothes of these soldiers.
Both figures are from 1900 and about 20 cm (7,8 inch) in size.
Both figures have the same movement, after winding, the upper body shaking from left to right.
The Le Vaillant Boer has Martin number 174 (this number has not been confirmed with certainty so far.)
The Gentleman in Khaki has Martin number 175
I have seen only one original box in a auction, this box has a English headline text : The Gentlemen in Khaki all the other text on this box are in French but a box with a French headline text I have never seen.
In all the books I’ve seen the name Le Gentleman Khaki is used, but I think that may not be the original name.
On a original 1902 French poster is the same name as on the box: so I think that The Gentlemen in Khaki is the original name.
A little bit of history:
This (second boer war) was from 11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902.
It was a war between the Dutch-speaking Boers of the South African Republic (Transvaal) and Orange Free State on the one hand, and the British Empire on the other hand.
The war was the result of many years of tensions between the Boers and the British.
In the beginning it started with a conventional warfare, after conquering their capitals, the Boers turned to guerrilla tactics.
The British retaliated with the principle of the scorched earth.
They build concentration camps where many women and children died from the bad conditions.
In this war on the side of the “Boers” about 2000 volunteers fought from different countries as for example, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France etc.
Sources: All pictures with the toys courtesy of Bertoia Auctions and the section history: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia