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Unusual China Pattern? Pearlware?


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I've been reading about the old glassmakers and potters and they experimented to find new looks, trying to be the 'leader' in the marketplace, perhaps this was an experiment?

Very kewl.

:-) Felicia

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Notice a similarity?


I think these are most commonly called "Pennsylvania Dutch" marbles, now...

At one time, some of us speculated on their similarity to "Leeds Pottery." This group could strengthen that theory...

I haven't been able to find an example of the Leeds design that most reminded me of this marble, but here's a close one that is thought to be Leeds...

Leeds? Covered Comport

Click on the picture to enlarge...

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Nice looking marble but I would not place it in the PA Dutch category, it lacks a diffinitive pinwheel of PA Dutch style, notice your (Sue's) marble, it has that petaled pinwheel design unlike the dug example that has a pointed star and wedding ring like pattern, it would be nice to see a clear color photo, something just doesn't look right about this marble.

I've been collecting since I was about 9 years old and have never seen a marble similar, not saying they don't exist but I have seen everything from mildly pornographic chinas to extreme scenery with 5 or more colors.

What are the chances this marble is another modern decorated marble thrown in with a group of commons, it does look clear and unfaded compared to the marbles in the group.

As for the marking resembling an early factory design, I'm sure that if this was made by any known potter in England there would be some sort of evidence suppoting they made marbles, English pottery is very well known and very heavily collected, the history of English potters is well known and documented.

This text is from a major discussion about "pearlware"....

Major difficulty concerns the origins of pearlware. The traditional view was that Josiah Wedgwood 'invented' or 'developed' the ware over a period of years and then marketed it in 1779. The authority for this is his own letters to his partner Thomas Bentley. The published versions of these contain much fascinating detail of his pursuit of 'a white Earthenware body, and a colourless or white opaque glaze, very proper for Tea & other wares.'1 The ware he eventually produced was basically a creamware body, though modified to make it whiter by the inclusion of china clay, and which was covered with a glaze containing some china stone, but most importantly a small quantity of cobalt which gave a bluish cast to the glaze. (Incidentally, the creamware glaze derived its colour from the iron oxide in the glaze.) It is this cobalt blue glaze over a whitish body which is regarded as the single most important diagnostic feature in identifying pearlware.

I can't see the blue, but of course it's a black and white photo.

I would suggest this marble is either German or possibly fake. either way, I would be hesitant to purchase it.

Historical evidence is what I look for most when trying to identify any marble, remeber when the CA exotics hit the market? I had no less than 25 lbs of CA cullet from different sources and different locations on the property, none of it conained any proof that CA made those marbles, it was purely the lack of evidence that made my choice not to buy them.

JMHO and 2 cents.

peace! Scott

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It's not for sale. It is only a fragment of a marble in any case.

It was excavated by archaelogists. The paper to which I linked is a scholarly work published by the Canterbury Archaelogical Trust. It was part of their annual report 10 years ago.

Title and author -- Losing your marbles: Post-medieval gaming marbles of pottery and stone from Canterbury excavations, by John Cotter

There does not appear to have been any untoward agenda in proving anything about the marbles. Sometimes marbles are used to help date archaelogical sites. In this case, the author seemed to be going in more of the reverse direction, and was trying to learn more about the marbles in their own right. At this point in time in England apparently there was some thought that the marbles had been made in England and the author is making a case for them being imported.

The opening paragraphs of the article:

Over the past twenty years small numbers of gaming marbles have turned up on excavations in Canterbury. Excavations at Nos 1-2 Best Lane have produced a collection of sixteen stone and ceramic marbles from well-stratified post-medieval contexts thus prompting a more serious look at this relatively neglected class of artefact. The pilot study presented here is based on a collection of seventy-two marbles currently available for study, from eight sites around the city. It does not include those examples in the Canterbury Museum; hopefully these will be included in a future more detailed survey.

The writer has the growing suspicion that some, or perhaps most, of the marbles could be foreign imports, particularly as we have documented references to imported marbles during this period. The problem is that no attempt seems to have been made, as yet, to distinguish foreign from home-produced marbles found on British sites. The Best Lane discovery provides and ideal opportunity to make a start tackling this problem and also an excuse to overview the wider significance of gaming marbles in general. Those from Canterbury will be considered below in the order of the material they are made from.

I take the "well-stratified" qualifier to indicate that these marbles were from old levels of the site, identified levels, and not tossed willy nilly into the area in the way Jabos were tossed into the Jackson site.

Sue, I wouldn't have made the connection between the Pennsylvania Dutch and this one, but now that you mention it, the semicircles at the equator do look very much alike.

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