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Started Marble Collecting

photolith

Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2019
128
43
Pittsburgh
So, I just lost my job because of this virus and can no longer afford bottles (as there is absolutely no social safety net in America), who knows if I ever will be able to again. So, right before I lost my job I dug up an antique "German" swirl marble in WV. I now am super stoked over marbles. I didn't know jack about marbles until recently but for the most part, its pretty similar to bottles to identify their age, IE pontils to date them. Also, I now know I live within a 1.5 hour drive of the biggest marble show in the US in Sistersville, WV. Never knew that until the last week that Akron, OH and WV were the marble capitals of the world from about 1910-1960.

I don't know much about the machine made or slag marbles from about 1910 to the current era but I bought a couple of marble books as the info online for marbles is scarce (some good youtube videos though), still waiting for them in the mail. If only I knew about marbles long ago, Id have known what to look for in antique stores.

Before all the stores closed in WV and a week ago in PA, I went to some antique malls and started paying attention to marbles. Here's some of the antique late 1800's to about 1915 hand made swirl marbles I found in a few stores. I sure hope the antique malls and stores can survive this economic meltdown, or for that part most small stores and bars, etc. Im afraid at the end of all of this, all that will be left for retail will be crap Walmart, Costco and other big box stores that have the capital to weather this storm.

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

Small glass blowers still make swirl marbles, but they are all almost perfectly circular and dont have pontil scars. Note for example the largest marble I just got and think I got bamboozled on, it has no pontil scar and no wear marks from being played with. That is the only one I got off of eBay and the seller was selling it as a polished late 1800's swirl marble. From the photos it looked like it had a pontil. But it surely doesn't. Although, skilled artisans in the late 1800s who made marbles knew how to make them perfect with no pontil scars. Note however all the other ones I have, they have minor dents in them and aren't perfectly spherical and have clear pontil scars, letting me know that they are legit handmade antique marbles.
 
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yacorie

Well-Known Member
Dec 10, 2018
416
43
CT
Sorry to hear about your work situation photolith. Not that it makes you feel any better but I disagree with your assessment of post virus america. I think you’ll find that everyone will be doing what they can to support smaller, local businesses and get away from the multinational companies that have less rooted interest in our towns.

I know I certainly will be and I’ve been making an effort to support all the local businesses we can now.

As for marbles - you have some cool ones. I don’t know anything about marbles but I was shocked to see marbles at some auctions selling for many 1000s a piece. I think just like bottles, you can spend 3 bucks or 3000 bucks.
 

photolith

Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2019
128
43
Pittsburgh
Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

Just bought this book a couple of days ago, have already learned tons since.

Luckily the marbles Ive purchased I haven't gotten screwed on and had a feeling they were similar to bottles.

Here's another pontiled German marble I got today.

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

Untitled by photolitherland, on Flickr

This marble would be considered a divided core swirl from about 1880-1920.
 
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