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psia-antique
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West Virginia swirls, aka WV swirls

Swirls, usually vintage, made by the following West Virginia companies:

  • Alley Agate

  • Alox Mfg. Co.

  • Cairo Novelty Co.

  • Champion Agate

  • Davis Marble Co.

  • Heaton Agate Co.

  • Jackson Marble Co.

  • Playrite Marble and Novelty Co.

  • Ravenswood Glass and Novetly Co.

Bogard has also been reported as making opaque swirls, but this isn't well-known. I don't remember seeing photos of them and I haven't seen them considered in marble i.d.'s.

Mid-Atlantic of West Virginia, Inc. might qualify, but their swirls are modern, and aren't usually considered in swirl discussions.

Also, people have perhaps jokingly included certain Akros in that category. They weren't primarily a swirl company but were in WV and did make some swirls.

Champion still made marbles in the modern era but their roots are vintage.

I've also seen someone call Jabos WV swirls. Their mailing address was in WV, so maybe. lol. But the marbles are modern, and were made in Ohio.

Christensen Agates were made in Ohio.

I am a little confused. As I read AMM, it sounds like Alox was a MISSOURI Company. Can you cite the literature that shows when they moved to West Virginia? I thought they were in "a Butler Building on Pennsylvania Ave. in St. Louis Missouri" as stated in AMM.

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I am a little confused. As I read AMM, it sounds like Alox was a MISSOURI Company. Can you cite the literature that shows when they moved to West Virginia? I thought they were in "a Butler Building on Pennsylvania Ave. in St. Louis Missouri" as stated in AMM.

I moved it there all on my own.

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  • 2 months later...

oxblood

I'll let Brian Graham explain it: Melting Oxblood or Haematinum red glass

An important thing to know is that "real" oxblood is copper-based and opaque. The teeny tiny copper crystals are just the right size to make it opaque without being big enough to make the glass sparkly, if I understand correctly. It turns out that aventurine and oxblood are close kin.

p.s. By "real" I mean the type of red glass found in MFC bricks, that is to say MFC's "American Cornelians", and in Akro's oxblood marbles. [edit: I put "real" in quotation marks because there are other things which can be called oxblood, but in general when marble collectors say oxblood, they mean Akro's version. And in general, in my experience, when they call other glass a type of oxblood they use a qualifier. For example, they might say specifically "Vitro oxblood" to let it be known that they are not claiming it is the same, but it looks close.]

Some fab oxblood examples are posted here:

Who Used Oxblood?

About the word 'oxblood', I need to get my hands on some good dictionaries -- ones with good etymologies, including dates of earliest known usage. I can see from Brian's explanation that at least variants of the terms 'oxblood' had been in use before Martin Christensen started making American Cornelians, but when was the precise term 'oxblood' first used and in what circles? What about the term's near relatives? For instance, what about the Swedish term "oxblodsfärgad"? And what, for instance, does the oxblood used on ceramics look like?

Webster's 1913 dictionary merely refers to the color, not the opacity, saying that "oxblood red" is "a dark brownish red". We can't expect much more in a dictionary for laymen. Also, that's a perfectly correct description for oxblood as used in non-glass settings. How was the term used in more technical works on glass and glaze?

Somewhat random references deposited here for the time being:

1893: p. 264 of Pottery and Porcelain of the United States.

More references specially to Chinese sang-de-boeuf:

1897: p. 335 of Journal of the Franklin Institute: The Chemistry of the Pottery Industry (Also has Chicken Blood)

1902: p. 346 of A Sketch of the History of Ceramic Art in China

1910: p. 27 of Hard paste porcelain (Oriental) China, Japan, Siam, Korea

1919: p. 775 of Chemical Abstracts: Notes on the "Sang de Boeuf" and the copper-red Chinese glazes

1980: Bulletin - Krannert Art Museum. p. 12 of this PDF refers to an oxblood-glazed line introduced in 1900 by Roseville Pottery in Zanesville, OH. The line is called Rozane Mongul.

1907: Streaks of pure ox blood (on an item in an art catalog)

1914: p. 81 of House Beautiful: The Altman Collection IV -- Old Chinese Porcelains

1948?: Optical Properties of Glass from Alamogordo, New Mexico. Oxblood color is mentioned on p. 3.

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