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Marble Archaeologist

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Posts posted by Marble Archaeologist

  1. Many thanks for the information, Charles.

    Needless to say, the family and I will be headed up to Hannibal that Saturday with much enthusiasm. I'm looking forwards to talking to folks and learning a lot, as well as perhaps starting my own personal foray into marble collecting (though I am a neophyte, to be certain); miniature works of art in glass and porcelain that seem so much better than any rare gemstone.

  2. Many thanks for the post, Alan, and those thoughts. I had been beginning to wonder if as an undergrad I was just looking in the wrong places for sources.

    By the by, you have now given me a very solid idea of what to do for my masters, and, if it is allowed, my doctorates and beyond. Heck, I would even do it without the degrees if I'm allowed. Aside from informational resources being a challange, I am also finding that getting access to archaeological collections to look at just marbles is an issue as well. Unfortunately one such as myself cannot walk into a place of curation and say, "I would like to see all your marbles." I've had to put forth a blessedly simple research proposal to one place, giving them my research methods as well as...and this is the big one... the site name, site number, artifact catalog number, and provenience. That last bit can be rather annoying since only one place in our state has a registry of site names and numbers, and they are very select on who they allow access to (i.e. no one knows where or what all the sites in Missouri are, save them, which keeps the sites relatively "safe"). This poses a problem as that I have to find archaeologists who have either worked on historical sites with marbles in them or know of sites... and they must be willing to let me access their reports as well as the database on the marbles.

    In short, I'm left with the impression that archaeologists look at marbles and think, "Oh, look, children's toys. All it tells us is that there were children here," and then promptly catalog them and put them into curation with only a passing analysis in their reports. Mind you, only of late have archaeologists both historic and otherwise started looking at children in the archaeological record, and the part they played in the community.

    Now, here's a question... and this is telling of the modern age I'm living in and the modern eyes I have... just looking at my modern glass marbles... the clay ones that were excavated at a site that had brick laborers' homes circa the mid 1800's were rather small, I'd almost call them pea-sized. Which only goes to show my current level of inexperience.

    To which, I thank you all for your tolerance of me, and your willingness to educate someone as ignorant as I.

  3. I am looking to develop an antique marble nomenclature for my senior thesis for archaeology analyzing marbles from 19th century historic sites specifically here in Missouri. I'm looking at the social/economic levels marbles cross, but also at distribution patterns. The primary marbles I'm seeing in the collections (though I have yet to see them in person) are clay, stone, ceramic, and some glass. Are these marbles being manufactured locally (clay marbles), or are they coming in from Germany, and from what companies in Germany, and by what means are they transported? How much did they cost in that period?

    As that there is so little written on marbles in historical archaeology (2 small articles, and 2 hard-to-find books I'm still waiting on from the library), I've been getting as many books on the collection of antique marbles as I can, and am working from the nomenclature used there.

    I am attaching the bibliography I've put together thus far, and though I've yet to go through all the books, I would be very appreciative of anyones ideas, thoughts, and input... especially if there is any book I've missed, or any book I should avoid.

    You are the ones of experience and knowledge, and I deferr to that.

    My many thanks to you all!

    Note: I have ISBN numbers here so as to make it easier for librarians to acquire the books for me.

    Barrett, Marilyn

    1994 Aggies, Immies, Shooters, and Swirls: The Magical World of Marbles, Little Brown Company

    ISBN-10: 0821220012, ISBN-13: 978-0821220016

    Baumann, Paul

    2004 Collecting Antique Marbles: Identification and Price Guide 4th Edition, Krause Publications

    ISBN-10: 0873498224, ISBN-13: 978-0873498227

    Block, Robert

    1999 Marbles Illustrated 3rd Edition (A Schiffer Book for Collectors) , Schiffer Publishing,

    ISBN-10: 0764309706, ISBN-13: 978-0764309700

    2002 Marbles: Identification and Price Guide 4th Revised Expanded Edition, Schiffer Publishing,

    ISBN-10: 0764315749, ISBN-13: 978-0764315749

    2002 Pictorial Price Guide of Marbles, Schiffer Publishing

    ISBN-10: 0764316338, ISBN-13: 978-0764316333

    Block, Robert S.

    2005 Marble Collectors Handbook, Schiffer Publishing,

    ISBN-10: 0764323318, ISBN-13: 978-0764323317

    2003 Collecting Early Machine-Made Marbles: The M. F. Christensen & Son Company and Christensen Agate Company, ISBN-10: 0764318276, ISBN-13: 978-0764318276

    Block, Stanley A.

    2001 Antique Glass Swirl Marbles, Schiffer Publishing

    ISBN-10: 0764314599, ISBN-13: 978-0764314599

    2002 Antique End-of-Day Marbles, Schiffer Publishing

    ISBN-10: 0764316303, ISBN-13: 978-0764316302

    2006 Marbles Beyond Glass, Schiffer Publishing

    ISBN-10: 0764323636, ISBN-13: 978-0764323638

    2011 Marble Mania Revised & Expanded 2nd Edition, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.

    ISBN-10: 0764335502, ISBN-13: 978-0764335501

    Castle, Larry and Marlow Peterson

    1992 Marbles: The Guide to Machine-Made Marbles. Ogden, Utah: Utah Marble Connection, Inc.

    Carskadden, Jeff and Richard Richard

    1998 Colonial Period and Early 18th Century Children’s Toy Marbles: History and Identifications for the Archaeologist and Collector, Muskingum Valley Archaeological Survey, ISBN-10: 0962693189, ISBN-13: 978-0962693182

    1990 Chinas: Hand-Painted Marbles of the Late 19th Century. Zanseville, Ohio: Muskingum Valley Archaeological Survey.

    Grist, Everett

    1991 Antique and Collectible Marbles 3rd Edition, Collectors Books

    ISBN-10: 0891454888, ISBN-13: 978-0891454885

    Grist, Everett and Lloyd Huffer

    2010 Everett Grist’s Big Book of Marbles 4th Edition, Collector Books

    ISBN-10: 1574326929, ISBN-13: 978-1574326925

    Hardy, Roger and Claudia Hardy

    1997 Akro Agate Price Guide: Featuring the Complete Line, Marbles, General Line, Child’s Dishes 2nd Edition, R. and C. Hardy

    ISBN-10: 0966174712, ISBN-13: 978-0966174717

    Randall, Mark E

    1979 Marbles as Historical Artifacts. Trumball, Connecticut: Marble Collectors Society of America

    Randall, Mark E. and Dennis Webb

    1988 Greenberg’s Guide to Marbles. Sykesville, Maryland: Greenberg publishing Company, Inc.

    Six, Dean, Susie Metzler, and Michael Johnson

    2006 American Machine-Made Marbles: Marble Bags, Boxes, and History, Schiffer Publishing

    ISBN-10: 0764324640, ISBN-13: 978-0764324642

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