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1865 Great Lakes Shipwreck Marbles


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Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am new here tonight. I was hoping some of you experts could help me please with information on some marbles. I am a retired salvage diver from the Great Lakes. These marbles shown in the attached pics were recovered by myself over 20 years ago. I found these on an old steamship that went down in 1865. I was wondering what the value of these are, as I would like to sell them for other needs. Thank you very much! (:

PS: For interest sake, I show in one pic a children's rubber toy that was found with the marbles.

Thanks again!






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Hi Steve, I can't ID all of the marbles there, but I'll do my best...

They all look to be German handmades. I'm not positive when German glass cane marbles were first produced, but I think 1865 would have been in the very early years...

The pretty blue & red is an onionskin. The one with the red & green center is a solid core. The one with the yellow and white stripes looks very unusual... Almost like a latticinio ribbon? sort of thing... It would be cool to see better pictures of that one alone... The green sparkly one would be a green mica (those are mica flecks...) It looks like the clear / whitish one may also be a mica... The blue is a little too rough, it may be a mica, also. But, it could be other things, too... I really can't tell about the brownish one.

Value, just for what they are... In the condition they are.... I hate to say.... Is not a lot. Condition is so important...

BUT... If you can set them up with a good provenance package, they may have more value for their history... That might circumvent the condition issue...

There was a shipwreck off the New England coast, that was transporting marbles in freight. The marbles were sold with provenance and COA's. They did quite well...

In this case, it would be a great help to know as much as possible about the wreck. Was it carrying the marbles as freight?? Where was it coming from? Going to? ....Any pictures??

Absolutely anything at all that can be put together as a historical "package" around them, may enhance the value... How much?? That would depend on the extent of the provenance and how it's presented.

I wish this had been an easier answer. But, it's an interesting story. It has potential!!

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The green mica and the red/blue onionskin look to be in the best shape, and therefore the two with the most value. Could we see close-up photos of just those two, including views of their north and south poles?

Do you know the name of the ship?

Great story - - -

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I don't keep a vigilant watch on ebay auctions. But, just a quick search for similar quality marbles in tough condition... Like this one...

Ebay Auction

I think that sounds a little ambitious...

Your example marble received no bids at $9.38, including shipping. I am willing to use your isolated example and say that the posted marbles would not sell for $65.66 (7*9.38), as long as you first removed big chips from them :)

I don't see missing glass in the posted marbles, only an overall frosted appearance, and possibly many small moons. A couple of the marbles look lots better than the worse one.

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Hello all, long time not been here, but saw this topic about shipwreckes and thought maybe you'll like to see this?

I've found this marble on the island Terschelling, Northcoast of Holland. It was there in a local museum, but the owner of it gave it to me. It is a 3,3 cm divided core, found in a shipwreck on the bottom of the Northsea, above the island.

The name of the ship was: the SS Thasos, from the German Lavant Line. It was built in 1878. In 1895, it left from Hamburg, but sank in a storm. In 1988 the the wreck was found and every year from that time local divers were searching for souvenirs from the wreck. They found a lot of things, including this marble. I know the value is rather poor, but the story behind the marble is, at least for me, from a great value.



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