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Here's A Marble To Ponder

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I'm not sure........ But, I believe I've heard of one of these before (Maybe the same one?)

We need Lloyd for this... But, he seems to be walkin' on the wild side these days......

Very Cool marble!!! :D

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This marble is decidedly one to ponder. There's something contrived about a sulphide figure in a cane cut marble as if a maker were well aware of sulphide rarities and chose to take matters a step further. I too suspect that Lloyd would have something to say about this marble as it harkens back to the 'California Sulphide' group in appearance. I would be interested in hearing some specifics re. the pontils and am a little curious as to the circumstances of its acquisition. Whence from did it come? David Chamberlain

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I held this marble is hand last weekend. It came from an old German family who were not marble collectors. This was one of the marbles in the group they had. All vintage German handmades.

Interesting thing about this marble is the construction. The sulphide dog was added during the original production of the marble, and not at a later date. It was added as one of the stages of the marble. From the look of it, the maker started with the solid core portion, added clear, then picked up the figure or pressed it into the clear. When he pressed down to pick up the figure, it made a small indention into the solid core.

He then picked up more clear, then picked up his outer bands of color, and then clear. The outer bands are completely undisturbed and perfectly wrap around and over the top of the figure. They are not distorted as would happen if the figure was added later.

How did this happen? Who knows. Marble makers are constantly experimenting even today. Maybe he was making something special for a family member, messing around at lunch, had a dare from another maker that he couldn't do it, etc. etc.

The funny thing to me is how collectors see something they haven't seen before and immediately claim it to be furnace brick, or a California Sulphide, or that it's fake. No one has seen everything ever made or should act like they have.

This is an awesome vintage marble, one of only a few like it. The buyer got it for a steal. Regular common figure sulphides bring more than this marble, and this is up there with a painted figure or colored glass sulphide.


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My reference to CA sulphides was only to make a comparison. I in no mind meant to cast aspersions on this marble. It is a fact I believe that the first time such a similar marble was seen was amongst the CA sulphide group in the mid-1990s. And thank you for the derivation info. Craig, you have cleared that up. It is interesting how so hot and fast my enquiry was construed as contentious.

On first look I immediately said to myself $2000 and up!

I did not claim it to be anything other than what it is which is clearly fantastic.

It would be nice to know how the pontils were finished off. And what's the size?

David Chamberlain

P.S. Heck, this is a marble that most anyone should be/would be interested in.

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Seeing it in hand would no doubt help! My first observation wasn't meant to get too far along the "oven-brick-road". lol (unless it's like 5/8's or some ridiculous small size) I've heard and seen some weird unidentifiable stuff ending up in handmades, anything's possible, and cool stuff like that gives me a kick.

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Mannnn, I've been seriously cutting my "online time" to keep up with what's going on around the house.... But, if I'd seen that on ebay, I'd have jumped on it (If I didn't assume it would go to the moon.... Which I would probably have expected) If the buyer got a good deal, AWESOME!!! There aren't too many sleepers out there anymore!!! GREAT for them!!!! (I only wish it was me!! LOL)

With all the crap that's gone on with marbles over the years, it's hard not to look at this and say, "Hmmmmmmm......" And, being skeptical is a wise move. Everyday there's a new scam...

It's really hard to hang on to that naive attitude of "WOW" when you have to second guess the authenticity of everything.... So, suffice to say, if we jump on it without question, we're foolish... If we question all possibility before accepting it, we're naysayers... So it goes. It wasn't always that way and I miss the "Good Old Days...."

Those of us who have enjoyed those days have to remember that newer collectors have never had that point in time when they could openly accept such a freaky thing without question. It's sad, but true... OTOH, they do have to consider that there ARE a lot of oddities that are the "real deal," too...

I can understand David's bringing up the CA marbles... This is exactly the type of "oddity" that those were designed after...

If this marble were to be questioned, that would be the first logical place to start the investigation....

Marie asked....

How do you get oven brick inside a cane?

That would be the same way anything, including the rods of color, would end up inside the cane...

The core glass is rolled over rods of color that stick to it. That glob is dipped back into clear glass for another layer, then it rolled over the outer layer of threads and dipped into the clear again... Each time the glob is rolled over something, it sticks to the surface... Dipping it into clear glass encases it... If a piece of over brick, or sulphide, or an upholstery tack (as I've seen in the bubble of a swirl) or... Anything that doesn't burn up, comes in contact with the glob, or happens to be floating in the molten clear glass of the furnace, it's in there!!! It's not terribly unusual for bubbles in antique marbles to have pieces of carbon bouncing around inside them... Probably pieces of wood that burned up after being trapped in the glass...

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