I joined this forum in 2011 so its about time for my first post!!
I've been collecting turned antique game boards with handmade German marbles for 25 years. I have around 100, mostly with original marbles and many boxed or with compendiums, and plenty of loose marbles. Makers include Jaques, Ayres, Gibson, Chad Valley but can't be definite about most.
The solitaire boards are mostly 33 hole, one or two 37 hole and one very rare 81 hole board. Then there are The Royal Garrison Game, Nine Mens Morris (Merelle) boards, the Star Puzzle and best of all both the 9 and 16 hole Jaques Numerical Puzzles with complete sets of glazed numbered chinas from around 1860.
Most boards have swirls of between half and three quarters of an inch. There are many mica boards including one inch greens and nine sixteenth purples. There are some nice early Onionskins, Indians, Joseph Coats and mixed sets.
Britain was a great hunting ground for original boards when I was building my collection, and I have slowed down a lot in recent years having acquired most of the sets I wanted, and having been distracted in recent years collecting early Gibson and Fender guitars (which makes marble collecting seem cheap!!!). Apart from one set of I think Christensen green slags I have no US machine-mades which I rarely see over here.
I'm back on the board/marbles trail again having just finished full-time work, so it was great to find this forum and go back over some of the archive threads. Its been fascinating seeing some of amazing rarities and boulders that you have in the US.
I'd forgotten ever joining in 2011 - I presume the Marble Connection was a link with Alan Basinet who sold me a few marbles in the past and was a really great guy and a sad loss in 2012.
I'm sorry not to have posted an image or two but I'm struggling to compress files enough. I look forward to learning even more about German handmade from your collective wisdom.