c.1946 Jouets Mont-Blanc, Mont-Blanc-Express in Original Box

c.1946 Jouets Mont-Blanc, Mont-Blanc-Express in Original Box

This toy is the Mon-Blanc-Express complete with original box. Made in France (of course) it's named after the mammoth white-capped mountain. It was appropriately name because of all the over-under toys I've seen or sold this one is by far the largest. The company that produced this toy was Jouets Mont-Blanc, or Mont-Blanc Toys. 

Measuring nearly 4ft. long the toy is a combination of pressed tin and pressed steel. The center of the toy is actually embossed to give it depth. If you'll look at the first photo you'll see light glare on the tops of buildings and in the mountains due to the embossing. It was pressed to give it a three dimensional appearance. The scenes are different on both sides. One shows the Mont-Blanc-Express arriving and the other leaving. Essentially they show milk trucks traveling over streams and hills to get to the Lait Mont-Blanc company, or Mont-Blanc Milk Company. Pastures and roads leading to, and away, from the company are lined on both sides with cows and passersby. The underside of the track and interior walls of the center section is polished tin. 

The toy is unusual in that the clockwork pressed steel train car is needed to make it work properly. The first photograph shows the car underneath a section of track which ends with a fold down hinged brace. In the folded-up position the brace allows the car to pass over head. As it reaches the end of this section, the track tilts upward like a see-saw. This releases the brace underneath making it stand upright. As the train returns it passes through the mountains in the center. It strikes the brace (the 1st photo) which allows it to lower again. In the down position the car can can travel overhead to make its next run.

The toy comes with its center section which has two pieces of track permanently attached to it. These fold up underneath the center mountains and actually tuck into it. The additional two top see-saw pieces are removable. It's one of the most complex single car over-under toys I've seen and it works great! It comes with it's very unusual key with triangular shaped knob.

The box features a full panel color illustration on the cover done in an early post-war European style. It shows a terrific image of the Express zooming through a crossing that leads to the milk company. A man and woman on bicycles, with two small children are shown in the foreground waiting for the train to pass. Several people and a milk truck wait on the opposite side. In the back ground is the company surrounded by the white capped mountains. The name of the toy was printed on every side panel.

I was able to identify the manufacturer of this toy from an old European auction catalog. The artist's name Nöe Dufourt appears both on the box and the corner of the toy. Also printed on the box is the following "Imp Cart PONSARD Ambérieu (AIN) in the lower right cover corner. I believe this refers to a department within a town, but that's about all I could figure out.

Size: 44" x 2" x 5". Train car 3¾" long. Box approx. 16" x 6" x 2½".

Sold: Oct. 2007

Price Sold: $ 766


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Subject: c.1946 Jouets Mont-Blanc, Mont-Blanc-Express in Original Box

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