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Hand Blown Glassware - Marbles

Marbles, I see them online selling for in lots for hundreds of dollars, yet when I take some great close ups of a large lot that we just got in we get no action on a $10 starting bid. What's the deal? A lot of these looked like hand blown glassware that everyones after but I wasn't sure. Are there name brands? Should I be loking for markings like Ground Pontils? Please, no "I've lost my Marbles" jokes.

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Comment by Steve Sturtz on August 31, 2013 at 7:43pm

I know this is a day late and a dollar short, but seems to be a good place to start. Not all marbles are worth a fortune, but machine made American marbles can easily get into many hundreds of dollars. A hand made German sold for $28,000.00 in the last three or four years.

In 2008, I sold a JABO ("Sammy Sparkle") for $178.00 and also took a $175.00 second offer on eBay. These marbles were less than two weeks old. Since then, other JABOs have sold as high as $200.00. Peltier, Akro, CAC, etc. have sold much higher. They are all machine made.

What makes a marble rare and pricey is complex, yet somehow it can be made very simple.

Like any antique or collectible, some few are very valuable, there is then a middle ground, and the rest are plain and not worth much.

Marbles are tactile. Most collect them because they are a happy memory, are pretty, or they think mibs can be bought and sold at a profit. All of this is true. Each person must ask what he/she wants to collect and why....a particular company, a color, a size, or any other reason.

The easiest way to start collecting marbles is buy those that you are prettier than others. If you trust your eyes and then buy what you deem to be pretty, over time you will have a good collection. As your eyes get better and your knowledge grows, you will find and buy better pieces...sometimes very cheaply because you knowledge is broader and deeper than the guy in the street. 

Have faith, go slowly, and BUY PRETTY!

Read everything you can about marbles, watch eBay, look at picture, join a chat board, and ask questions. The more research you do in the forms above, the sooner you will learn.

Knuckles down and BUY PRETTY!

Comment by Jason Craig Zudell on January 22, 2011 at 3:07pm
i collect marbles mostly machine made some handmade.some machine made marbles are worth tons. i have sold one for over 300 but from the pics i see cateyes (they are from the 50's ) and marble kings. i also see some vitro's. But again they around the 50's so not worth much if i seen them at a yard sale i would think about $10 i sell jars for that all the time. The good brands for marbles are christensen akro and peltier to name a few.
Comment by Glenn Freeman on May 8, 2008 at 5:32pm

Hi,
This my second try @ this. I collect antique hand made marbles. The marbles you have pictured all appear to be machine made. The antique hand made marbles do normally have at least one pontil and most of the time two pontil marks one @ each end. Hope these pictures help. If I can help, please send me a note. Have a great day.
Comment by tomsantiquesetcetera on May 3, 2008 at 9:46pm

I own 2 antique, German hand-made marbles; they were appraised for $10.00 each; yet the exact same marbles (their twins) are being sold for $350-up. I also own a number of antique marbles of varying types and makes and the same appraiser called them "junk". I see look-a-likes selling, as you say, for hundreds of dollars, yet mine are "junk"? I have sold 3 marbles for over $100, so it just revolves around who wants your marbles. Lots don't work well, but for 10 singles that I listed, I sold 3 of them. Fortunately I only paid $11.00 for all my marbles, so am well ahead of the game. I have a multi-colored red pearl (real pearl) that was in the marbles I bought.Some multi-colors sell for several thousand. Any offers?

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