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Steph

Mostly Pix - Champion Agates

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Billed as a Champion Agate Sampler

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Source: Lloyd Ralston auction

This is a sampler bag from champion Agate Company. White muslin bag with drawstring. Filled with peewee clearies. Has a cardboard order form/address card sewn to the bottom. Stamped on the from "From Champion agate Company Pennsboro W. Va.". The bag would be mailed as a sample to a potential customer and then they could tear off the postcard and mail in an order. On this example, the postcard has been torn off.

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Charlie Stutsman (1914-1999 RIP) was a long-time antique dealer and marble distributor from around Evansville, IN. He purchased Champion Agate marbles made by Dave McCullough during the 1984-85 "New Old-Fashioned" era and marketed them to kids and others at fairs and flea markets around the area for many years. David Chamberlain mentions Charlie and his marbles at Joe's site. Charlie had quite a system, a combination of sorting and salesmanship:

Ric-Stutsman%20CA%20Set%20Listw_zpsqn7vh

I was happy to get one of these sets from David a number of years ago. I think it's a fun way to catalog some of Champion's New Old-Fashioned marbles and can see why kids would find it fun to try to collect them too. In fact, I think it's still a great way for kids to get involved in the hobby and collecting. While some of the marbles can command $10+, the majority can be had for far less, and with a bit of hunting around the marble community, you could probably still complete Charlie's list and build a 'complete' set:

Ric-Stutsman%20CA%20Set%2001-24aw_zps183

Ric-Stutsman%20CA%20Set%2001-24bw_zpslpl

Ric-Stutsman%20CA%20Set%2001041025-27w_z

There is considerable variation in some of the marbles, and #s 25 are not Champions (even though Charlie cataloged them as #CA25). The first two #25s are the light and dark variants Charlie describes in the list. The blue #26 is shown in David's article. Why the variation in the #26s? Who knows, perhaps the #26 position was limiting when he was building sets of 27 marbles. Regardless, there really are some great marbles in the set. Almost all are named. The most popular are probably the Pumpkin (#1, aka Hotwheels) and the Red Cloud (#4, aka Cherry Bomb). But I like the Honey Bee Slags (#10) with lots of clear. I'll add some pics of individual examples later.

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8 hours ago, jeeperman said:

Furnace swirls have to be my favorite Champ

....

 

crazy cool

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I'm starting to photograph my modest collection and thought these might be useful to someone. Currently sorting through a bulk bag of Champions I bought from Bob Block. These are the orange ones:

champion orange group.jpg

champion orange pair.jpg

A lot of variation in the amount of base colour showing and how well defined the pattern is, but you couldn't call the swirls very strongly defined on any of my sample.

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More Champions I've colour sorted - I'd describe them as 'Sand':

sand swirl champions.jpg

A lot of swirl variation and some size variation:

sand swirl champions close.jpg

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6 hours ago, Steph said:

They look very nice together.

A bowl of pearls. 

I've been enjoying sorting through the big bag of Champions. They're not showy marbles but I think they're under-appreciated as a manufacturer because they're so ubiquitous.

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Champion Bicentennial bag - probably a late fill one - mainly Champion clearies, a few Champion transparent swirls, game marbles and Bogard cat's and patches:

 

bicentennial.jpg

 

 

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I'm pretty sure I got one of those -- or half of one -- when I was 12. 

In our Christmas stockings in 1976 my brother and I got a bunch of clearies of different sizes.  I like to think it came from a Bicentennial bag.   That's when my love of clearies was born.  

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23 minutes ago, Steph said:

I'm pretty sure I got one of those -- or half of one -- when I was 12. 

In our Christmas stockings in 1976 my brother and I got a bunch of clearies of different sizes.  I like to think it came from a Bicentennial bag.   That's when my love of clearies was born.  

Nice memory :) As collectors it's easy to dismiss clearies, but they were popular with kids (and as a big kid I personally love the clearie pee-wees ;) ).

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