Victor Bonnet the L’entraineur Skiff

This very nice and almost lifelike toy is made in the fourth “Martin” period by Victor Bonnet & Cie
It has been given the “Martin” number 259
This toy was produced from around 1928.

From my own collection: Model with the handle on the frontwheel

This toy was made after an example of a kind of children’s tricycle that was moved by means of arm strength and changed direction by steering the front wheel with your feet.
There were models with one or two front wheels.

Various other manufacturers also made lithographed toy models of these arm-powered tricycles in the 1950s and 1960s.

Courtesy Antico mondo Auktionen Bornheim Germany

There are two different Victor Bonnet models on the market.
At first glance you hardly see the difference, they are both blue and have the same boy figure.
The difference is, however, at the bottom in the steering of the front wheel.
The front wheel serves as a control for this tricycle.

Left model with the handle on the frontwheel – Right model with control from the mechanism

In one model, the front wheel is controlled by the drive clockwork mechanism itself.
With the other model you have to do this yourself by means of a little handle which is directly on the front / nose, by adjusting the little handle the “skiff” goes straight or makes a turn to the right or left.
So if you look at the bottom you can clearly see the difference.

picture from the catalog

I suspect that the model with the adjustment of the front wheel by the mechanism is the first version.
My suspicion is that, on the original image on the box and in the catalog you can clearly see the adjustment rod (axel), just below his feet, from the engine to the front wheel.

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