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Who Used Oxblood?

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The Peltier and Alley oxblood tends to be very different from Akro and others in appearance and amount used. Stephanie has probably researched this extensively, but here's my meager contribution to add to your list: MF Christensen (bricks and oxblood slags), Vitro and don't forget the fabulous handmade oxblood slags, which were sometimes called "Leightons".



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I was looking for more of those Leighton's and came across this site:


Very kewl ones there too.

I was curious about the various companies and types (if different) of oxblood used because someone had mentioned Alley using it as well and I, myself, associate oxblood with Akro's, since they seem to be mentioned and pictured here more often.

Thanx so much for the information and pictures...now I know more and glad I asked. I'm gonna go see if I can find some examples of the others.

Have a blessed day!

:-) Felicia

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Thank you Kevin for the pretty marble pictures.

The plot thickens...or would that be the oxblood thickens...as I have just read that Akro and MFC were the ones who had used 'true' oxblood in their marbles. The other companies seemed to have their own 'variations' of oxblood.

So, what are the signs of 'true' oxblood? Is it the black filaments? Is it no blending/bleeding? hmmm

:-) Felicia

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I just saw some fantastic brick pictures and learned even more, there's a green brick! Kewl looking stuff, this oxblood of old.

Thank you Andrea, Alan and Kevin for taking the time to show pictures and give information.

Have a blessed day!

:-) Felicia

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In one or all of Block's Id guide books.

There is a mention of Peltier oxblood.

It is referred to as immitation oxblood.

It appears on some of the sunset marbles as a

brownish patch with white inside the marble.

I have 5 but Heaven only knows where they are in

this house?

If I find them I'll post some pics.

Also there have been many MCS Multi Color Swirls that have a stripe or 2 of

oxblood on them.

I think that in the VAST JABO RUNS lately. Some one mentioned that

the oxblood that tyhe happened with some of the runs was unexpected?

I'm sure that Steph has info on them also.


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Thank you marblemiser, that would be kewl to see.

I think I will have to take a trip to the library one day, because I noticed how much more colorful and distinctive these pictures are on a computer screen compared to what I see here on webtv.

I am also curious, and I keep looking at Alan's huge piece of oxblood, about what makes it that way..what is this 'something special' that makes such a difference in Akro and MFC oxblood, that seems to have a distinctive way about it? Did they perchance happen across something noone else did? What makes oxblood?

When I looked at the marble pictures, to me, there seems to be more of a 'deep fluidity' in the Akro and MFC marbles. Maybe it's just me seeing this.

Thanx so much all.

Have a blessed day!

:-) Felicia

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Felicia: I thought I would illustrate some of the variability of oxblood from a single manufacturer - Akro. I have roughly 100 pieces of their oxblood cullet and most is mixed with a dark cherry red, a dark orange, dark green and sometimes black - depending on the marble run they were making when they dumped it. Oxblood without the black detail glass (often feathered in) is fairly flat looking and appears much lighter colored to the eye. In truth though - it is really the same brick red.

Here are some variances in oxblood from Akro (by no means exhaustive):


















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Wow, hard to believe but today is the first chance I've had to read the thread. I didn't know my name had arisen.

I think of Brian Graham as the man to speak on oxblood, since he makes it. Here is a nice discussion at one of his sites:

Melting Oxblood or Haematinum red glass

To some (especially in the non-marble world), oxblood is just a color. No restrictions on how the color is achieved. Of course marble collectors tend to be more picky. The key to "real" oxblood seems to be copper crystals of just the right size to block out light -- but not large enough to sparkle. (Already, and as always, I'm worried that I've said something wrong, because this is over my head.)

Larger crystals would give aventurine. More about that is in the Jabo book. Adding aventurine is how the recent Jabos have gotten their oxblood, if I understand correctly, and yes, again IIUC, it was a surprise when it appeared during the tank wash on Nov. 27, 2007. Now it is done on purpose.

MFC's formula for oxblood was purchased from James Harvey Leighton. Akro's formula was stolen from MFC, along with Martin Christensen's marble machine designs and MFC's client list. :( Tainted blood.

I don't know where Leighton procured the formula. He was an American, from a long line of glassmakers, some well known for experimenting with glass formulas. But I am under the impression that James Harvey didn't, or didn't often, use oxblood himself. Oxblood formulas go back a long way. But why would Leighton have it, not use it, and then recommend it to Christensen?

I'm still unsure about the "realness" of Alley oxblood, or Pelt. Some horsehair ox doesn't look quite right, but some of the "ox" looks very convincing to me though I presume it is accidental. My hunch is copper is involved in achieving the aqua glass shown here. A sweet swirl Gary posted, two multicolors of Carole's, one with similar colors from Marblealan, and another fascinating one of Carole's:


Felicia, I've heard the "black filaments" are actually transparent green -- like some of the glass you see in Alan's pix. But both Alan and Brian mention black separately from green, so I am not sure.

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p.s., Felicia, in case you weren't aware of this, even though the German ones are sometimes called Leighton transitionals, they weren't made by Leighton.

There was a misunderstanding about where those originated.

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Thanks so much Steph for the information and the link, Carole's are the ones that I had read about...quite interesting...copper...hmmm. I also looked at the pictures of Mr Graham's marbles and his explanation of his handmades, it all sounds time consuming and intense when working with glass and compatable elements...to get the 'effect' that you desire.

I'm glad you said something about the Leighton Transitional thing, I didn't know.

I decided to go to the basic part of it, what glass is made of...got to thinking and wondering with the pollutants we have now as compared to 70-100 years ago, if this could be a factor in making something like glass just right, and with the addition of the other substances, does it act/react accordingly? Wouldn't impurities/pollutants cause some sort of change/varience? Could this be part of the reason that there are more oxblood variations than I had anticipated? Or,is it something as simple as "grandma's cooking always tastes better, because she makes it with love"...

After my initial frustration with webtv, I calmed down, and it hit me...I'm going to get a book...my very first book about marbles!!!! I am just tickled to no end about this...Thank You!!!

I'm glad this has helped you Kevin and perhaps others as well, I know it's been quite a learning experience for me. I thank everyone who has offered pictures and information..you guys and gals are the best!

Have a blessed day!

:-) Felicia

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An interesting spin on your original question is "who used the word oxblood" and closely related terms, and when? Historically what was "real" oxblood glass? One thing I know is that there is more info available than that which is common knowledge.

Brian's Canal Fulton Glassworks link has some great keywords. He gives 19th century terms for the glass which we now most often call oxblood: brick red, Sang de Boeuf, sealing wax red, and simply dark red. The French Sang de Boeuf translates to oxblood.

In Swedish the translation is more obvious -- they say oxblodsfärgad.

Ox-blood red is also a term used in the 19th century, which may have been synonymous with sang de boeuf, at least some of the time.

I sure would like to hear what the OED has to say about oxblood and related words. I used to have a good dictionary with dated etymologies but I don't know if it had the word oxblood. It was an abridged dictionary so maybe not, since oxblood has fallen out of common use. (Brian, do you happen to have the OED entry?)

In the meantime I'll do what I do and keep jotting down notes on related source material as I come across it.

Felicia, the link which you sent me for copper glazes in The Complete Guide to High-fire Glazes turned on a light for me. The term oxblood was coined in a completely separate setting from glass marbles. That's a given. So to understand historical oxblood it makes sense to study it in non-marble settings. Duh. :doh: I think we generally under-utilize the potential for non-marble items to teach us about marbles. For example, we don't often enough remember what we might learn about glass marbles from studying beads made with similar techniques. And in the case of oxblood, it appears that the source of much historical information will be from materials about pottery.

Well, so far I know that the term oxblood, or at least the classier sang-de-boeuf, was strongly associated with copper-based glass in the 1900's. I don't imagine that it was always so strongly associated with any particular formula, but sometimes it was. Considering copper-based versions, I've seen a couple of references associating it with opaque glass. But I've also seen evidence which seems to suggest that one desireable version of copper-based oxblood may have been transparent. ? (edit: This is probably the reference I saw before to transparency.)

And I've seen evidence that the process for creating oxbood was understood in scientific terms in the 1900's, as was the connection between oxblood and aventurine. The result of the process wasn't always tagged with the name oxblood, and I don't know when the opaque version was understood in terms of wavelenths of light, but it was understood at a technical level. Here is an 1871 example under the name of Hematinone on p. 3 of Vol. III of A Dictionary of Chemistry. Funny thing -- ox-blood is mentioned on p. 2, but it's really referring to the blood of an ox. B)

Again, I realize that at least part of my musings will be a mere shadow of what Brian already knows thoroughly. But as I haven't yet seen quite what I want to know, not altogether at once, I'll keep musing. :)

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That's great information Steph!

I went back to the basics of glass. We have a book here "The Century Book of Facts" copywritten in 1907 and I looked up what they had to say about glass. It lead me on a search and I find this interesting: http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/G/GLASS/

It makes mention of the who and also mentions things used for colorants, like copper for glass.

I did not find mention of oxblood in the book :-( But there was some sort of Table that gave what this mixed with that would become, like what makes pewter.

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Well, the Chinese used it (pictures)


Is this the reference you were looking for?


I'm thinking about the saying "there is nothing new under the sun" and we are just learning more about something that has been in use for centuries and yes, in a different manner than its use in marbles. But if not for this knowlegde and it being passed down through the generations, would we have marbles...marbles with oxblood?

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