This article was published in the Antique Toy World November 2021
I’m trying to figure out the correct numbering of the first period of the Fernand Martin toys, that is de period from the first toy “Le Poisson Nageur” (the Fish) till number 146, the second period started with the number 147 the Ma Portiére.
The periods have been chosen in previously published books and articles by well-known authors, because every Martin collector knows this period classification, I will also continue with this period classification.
Martin himself never made a period classification.
In this article there will be a lot of “question marks” – “maybe” – “presumably” and “not sure” but therefore the question: WHO CAN HELP.
I have searched in old catalogs and have already found a lot of good product/article numbers, even on an old box we found a number.
What have I already found out?
Martin started with the number 100, his first produced toy the “Le Poisson Nageur” (The Fish).
The second period has started with number 147 Ma Portiére
So logically there must be 47 pieces in between.
But many more pieces are known from the first period, how is this possible?
Just an observation:
Between number 100, the first number of the first period and number 146 the last number of the first period are 47 numbers.
There are currently about 66 toys (there are a few toys of which we are not 100% sure that they are attributed to Martin)
We see that we have more toys then numbers, so some toys never had a number. Why????
From 30 toys I have found, till now, the right number.
There are 17 numbers left (101 – 104 – 108 – 109 – 112 – 113 – 122 – 126 – 128 – 138 – 140 – 141 – 142 – 143 – 144 – 145 – 146) whose toy name we havened find till now, we can attribute some of these 17 numbers with some certainty, but we are not 100% sure about that yet.
IN THE NEXT LIST ARE THE TOY NAMES WITH, IF KNOWN, THE CORRECT NUMBERS ALREADY FOUND.
Why some toys, especially in its early years, are NOT numbered is a mystery and we will probably never find the reason.
100 Le poisson nageur
La balançoire mécanique
Le bateau godilleur
Le Pantin mecanique
Les forgerons infantigables
Le moulin mécanique a tic tac
La locomotive routiere
Le cheval a bascule
Le jeu de massacre
Le jeu de force
Le bouquet surprise
Les Valseurs (with the tall hat)
Les valseurs (with a cap)
102 Le sonneur endiable
103 Les courageux scieurs de long
104 (no proof yet) L’incomparable danseuse de corde
105 Les pompiers
106 Les joyeux danseurs
107 Les fameux duellistes
Le livreur (presumably 108 or 109)
L’autruche (presumably 108 or 109)
110 Le cab
111 La grosse caisse (automatique)
La grosse caisse annamite (walking) model: World Fair in 1889 Paris
Pousse pousse annamite model: World Fair in 1889 Paris
Le fauteuil roulant model: World Fair in 1889 Paris
La sateuse de corde
114 Le lapin vivant
115 Les boxeurs
116 Le traîneau russe
117 Le diable en boite
118 Le cherif
119 La charrette anglaise
120 Le pêcheur â la linge
121 La bicyclette martin
122 (no proof yet) Le courrier parisien
123 Le facteur de chemin de fer (with flywheel )
124 Le facteur de chemin de fer ( with mechanisme )
125 La chaloupe a vapeur
126 (no proof yet) Le perroquet (on a stand)
127 La perruche
128 (no proof yet) Le piocheur
129 Course de taureau
130 Attelage flamend
Sujets Sur Socles avec Mécaniques en boites par pièce (sold per piece):
134 Gardeuse d’oies
Sujets Sur Socles sans Mécaniques (same articles as 131 till 136 but without mechanism and sold in boxes by a half dozen)
I suspect that the numbering is as follows, assuming the same order as numbers 131 to 137, but I am not 100% sure about this yet, only number 139 is certain.
138 (no proof yet) Ménagerie
140 (no proof yet) Chasse
141 (no proof yet) Gardeuse d’oies
142 (no proof yet) Laitiére
143 (no proof yet) Porcher
All the above-mentioned toys are known by images in catalogs, on boxes and / or by the presence of the toy in the museum: Musée des arts et métiers, Le CNAM in Paris. Fernand Martin made a donation in 1908 to this museum, of this donation, a handwritten list made by Martin is known including all names of the toys in that donation, this list is in the possession of the museum Musée des arts et métiers, Le CNAM in Paris
We can assume with a certain degree of certainty for which toys the numbers are 104 – 122 – 126 -128 – 138 – 140 – 141 – 142 and 143, but we are still looking for the 100% proof for these numbers.
So we are also looking for the following 8 missing numbers: 101 – 108 – 109 – 112 – 113 – 144 – 145 – 146.
Who can help me ????
Please contact me if you can help firstname.lastname@example.org