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Trip to Lauscha

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As a surprise, my wife offered me a short trip to Thüringen, Germany, to make my wish come true: To be at least one time at the place where the German handmades were made. Has anyone of you also visited that area and can give me some info? I only have a few days, so any good tip of where to look or what to "must see" is very welcome.

The place where we stay is 30 km from Lauscha (Langenbach).

Cees

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What a great gift, Cees!!!! I hope you have a blast and find something really cool in the dirt!!!

Send pictures when you get back!!!!! B)

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You might email Alan, too.  While I don't think he has been there, he might have some good contact names.

Thanks Sue, I"ll share the pictures with you all.

You could be right, Alan might have some names for me, thanks.

Cees

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Here are some pictures, made in and around the village of Lauscha. The handmades are marbles from the museum there. The museum is small, but I'm glad I'm visited it, it's beautifull. The other pictures are machine mades that I've found there, the group are marbles made by the last factory in Germany that made marbles: The Ilmenauer Glasswerken, the marble has a V-pattern on both sides. I've found the other marble in an antik store in Schleusingen, and I think it's also made there, because I've found it in a jar with other old machinemades, transparents, wirepulls etc.

What I already thought before I left to Germany became true: There are marbles to find there, I,ve seen some very beautifull examples, but If you want to buy marbles from that area, you better do it by eBay, that's cheaper. They offered me a jar filled with handmades for 10.000 Euro's, that's even more in $. One small Joseph Coat, nothing special,: 80 Euro ( $90). But I did get some interesting info there about the making of hand- and machine made marbles, that was my main reasson of going to Lauscha. I bought 1 solid core (4cm), a very nice one I think for 80 Euro's.

Cees.

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the group are marbles made by the last factory in Germany that made marbles: The Ilmenauer Glasswerken, the marble has a V-pattern on both sides.

hey cool! that's where our beach balls and at least some of our sparklers came from!

at the top of the two similar museum pictures, it looks like some "german striped transparents" are in that same cabinet (top of picture) - did you find anything out about them?

thanks for showing the pictures, and i'm glad you had fun!

~chris

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Yes I did, the German Striped Transparents, were made in Lauscha. There are more marbles made by machines in Lauscha, but the Transparent is the most famous of them, I think that's the reasson why it is showed in the museum. The Germans are proud on there marble's and other glassworks (Weihnachtsschmuck etc.) that's for sure, and I think they should be.

About handmades they told me that after Worldwar I, they were still produced in very low produktion, the last handmade marble was made at the beginning of Worldwar II in Germany, 1937-1938.

The Germans really hate the term: English color, ore English style, they think it has nothing to do with England, it just that most of these colorfull type's of marbles (late periode's) were transported to England and from there to the US and other country's.

They have never faceted any pontil of an glassmarble, that's what they told me, the faceting must have happened in the country's to were they were transported, they think it happened before the marbles came in the store's But who did it and why, they don't know. When the marble was cooled, than it was ready for transporting it.

A lot of the China's as we know them were also made in Germany, in a very little village, also in Thüringen, don't know the name, but not in Lauscha. There are only a few, at least they say so, china's painted by only hand, those are the scenic's, the flower and roses and maybe some more. Most of the lined china's, the bull's eyes etc. were painted also by hand, but with the help of a little machine, that turned the marble around. The so called Football marble (or Spotted Dick) is also made in Germany, and not as I always thought, in the UK ore US.

The first china's from Germany (early period's) were made around 1830, the last one

around 1910-1918 (late period's).

There were also a lot of Bennington's there, but also with very high prices.

I.m not saying that all this is true, but I've ask a lot off questions there to get something to know about the history of my marbles and this is what they have told me. I think it could be true?

Cees.

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'Sounds to me as though it makes a lot of sense..... Except the faceted pontil thing.... That seems really odd, since there's so many of them....

Is this the only area in Germany that made marbles?

Thanks again, Cees!!! I wish I could have been with you!!! It's a shame that this info hasn't been researched long ago.... When there may have still been some old workers around... Still.... It's great to know that there are some answers there!!

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'Sounds to me as though it makes a lot of sense..... Except the faceted pontil thing.... That seems really odd, since there's so many of them....

  Is this the only area in Germany that made marbles?

  Thanks again, Cees!!! I wish I could have been with you!!! It's a shame that this info hasn't been researched long ago.... When there may have still been some old workers around... Still.... It's great to know that there are some answers there!!

Well Sue, I think that the area is even smaller as we thought it was. In the villages around Lauscha, there's hardly anything to see that tells you that you are in an area that is famous because of it's glasshüttes. But in Lauscha only the bricks are made of stone, the rest is made of glass. Nearly everything you see there, remindes you on there history and still they make beautifull things off glass, for example in the famous Farbglasshütte, where they also make marbles by hand.

The story of the pontils? I don't know, I've told you what they have told me. They didn't spend much time on most of there marbles, polishing or faceting the pontils did not make any sence to them. They spend more time, on marbles that were made as a relationgift. I've seen a 2,5" clout with Lutz, in NM condition, that one was made as relationgift for a important person. Maybe ones the owner will sell it, but then you have to think in thousands of dollars.

My wife and children also had a good time there, there are hills and at this time there's a lot of snow. They had so much fun there, she told me that maybe next year she want's to visit Thüringen again. Who am I to say she shouldn't do that?

For me it's only 700 km, 7 hours, from my place, for you it isn't that easy I think? Maybe you can manage something with your family in Assen (Jan)?

Cees

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They have never faceted any pontil of an glassmarble, that's what they told me, the faceting must have happened in the country's to were they were transported, they think it happened before the marbles came in the store's But who did it and why, they don't know. When the marble was cooled, than it was ready for transporting it.

I think this might be right. You only find fascetted pontil marbles in the USA and the UK. Never in Germany, Holland, France or any other European countries. So probably the pontils were fascetted in the UK and USA after the marbles were imported from Germany and before they hit the shops. I remember an English article were they called the German handmades 'atrocities' not fit for playing marbles because of the rough pontils, so it's likely they fixed this problem by fascetting the pontils.

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The noted German glass historian Herbert Kühnert said the following about glass marbles made in Lauscha by the famous Greiner family in his book - Urkundenbuch zur thüringischen Glashüttengeschichte - 1934:

"Die in dur hütte aus Greinerschen farben hergestellten märbel wurden, wic es scheint, in einem zunächst zu Unterlauscha befindlichen schleifwerk geschliffen."

Or in English: the marbles were ground in a mill located first in Unterlausche.

There you have - ground pontils.

For more info, see - German marbles with ground pontils....

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The noted German glass historian Herbert Kühnert said the following about glass marbles made in Lauscha by the famous Greiner family in his book - Urkundenbuch zur thüringischen Glashüttengeschichte - 1934:

"Die in dur hütte aus Greinerschen farben hergestellten märbel wurden, wic es scheint, in einem zunächst zu Unterlauscha befindlichen schleifwerk geschliffen."

Or in English: the marbles were ground in a mill located first in Unterlausche.

There you have - ground pontils.

For more info, see - German marbles with ground pontils....

Hi Brian, I've a few marbles with a fascetted pontil, it looks to me that this is handwork. Not by a mill or something. The people over there who sell marbles on eBay to us, they get their marbles by so called "pudlers". These pudlers have a license to look in and under the remaines of some all ready closed Glasshüttes. Some of the marbles they find there have indeed a very large, ugly and strange pontil. Sometimes they look like a little nipple. I,m sure they didn't want to sell them like that, so it looks to me they first removed that. But maybe they didn't and just throwed them away, I don't know. The fact that I've never found a marble like that in Holland or somewhere else. makes me think that either they throwed them away, or they removed the rubbish?But I was talking about fascetting pontils, they said, they never did that.

Cees

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After my visit in Thüringen, I started to search in the history of the German machine mades, to little is known about them. I already knew that this kind of marbles were made in Lauscha and Illmenau, but there should be more. And little by little I found some. Maybe it's interesting for you, or maybe you already knew this, but, anyway, I want to share some info with you, if you like it or not.

About the Transparents I didn't get much more info, the only thing that was new for me that there were several Glasshüttes which had a machine to make these kind of marbles, I don't know if this is true or not, the man who told me this, was rather sure of this??

Later the marble production went to Illmenau, some of the marbles they made there I've showed before in this topic. When I was looking for info about this factory, they told me, that the marbles there were made from glas leftovers, like a kind of end of days. This was told me by a few people who realy could know this, so I think it can be true. I think that also the German sparklers were made in Illmenau on this way.

Then The Wirepull: This marble was made by the compagnie Hopf&Hopf from Coburg-Esbach, as far as I know, this was not in East-, but in West-Germany, but very close to Thüringen.

From about 1950-1980 the wirepull was (only) made by this compagnie. The owner of the factory invented the machine by himself. Its almost sure that the wirepull was made on the same way as the Illmenaumarbles. First I didn't believe this all, but then they told me that they had some original pricelistings (is this the English word?) from the compagnie and I bought some original bags with wirepulls, made about 1965 from them. There is also a picture of two men (Hopf&Hopf?) made in the factory. I only show one pricelist, but they copied three for me.

For now, this is in short time what I found out this last year, I hope it's usefull for some of you, if I find out more, I'll share it again.

Cees.

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Wow. This is amazing. I had bookmarked this thread but did not realize how much information was already in it ... and now you're adding more. It keeps getting better and better!

Steph

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