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Who Made Oxblood's


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I'm sure that this question has been asked before, and I know that Akro Agates is probably the most famous manufacturer of Oxblood Marbles, and then M.F.Christensen, but what other manufacturer's of vintage marbles actually used "oxblood glass", I keep seeing (and finding) marbles listed as "Oxblood" which appear to be close in color but not actually the "deep" reddish/brown/purple-ish oxblood color - thanks in advance ..

photo of some of the Akro Oxblood's we have..

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MFC and Akro made true oxblood on purpose from recipe. Akro obtained the formula illegitimately from MFC.

I'm hearing the possibility discussed that Alley made it on purpose also. I don't know about that. I think it might have appeared accidentally in other marbles, when the right chemical and heat conditions occurred. But of course most of what is called oxblood on eBay ain't.

By true oxblood, I refer to the oxblood discussed at Brian Graham's site here:

http://www.canalfultonglassworks.com/melting_oxblood_glass.htm

(oh, and of course, you are showing true ox in your photo)

Jabo in the past few years has made oxblood with the help of aventurine, which is chemically related to oxblood, as discussed on Brian's site.

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There are also antique German marbles with true oxblood.

It should be noted that this interpretation of "true oxblood" is pretty specific to marble collectors.

Oxblood as a ceramics glaze is different if I understand correctly. Not necessarily opaque. If I understand correctly.

And oxblood is used as a color description in other completely non-glass-related areas, so obviously it would have a different meaning there.

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There are some "oxblood-like" colors which can be called "oxblood" without too many people sneering, as long as you make sure you say something like "Vitro oxblood", stressing the extra adjective to make it be known that you are not claiming "true oxblood". Some people will still sneer! lol. But many will let it go.

Another example is "horsehair oxbloods". Some might be "true oxblood". But many are not. Many are sorta plain brown. Yet it has generally seemed okay to call them oxblood.

At this time, I do not believe that any machine-made marble company founded after Akro made oxblood from recipe. I think there is "true oxblood" in some Alleys and in some other marbles, but I lean toward it being an accidental chemical occurrence made possible by copper in the glass formula - for example, the copper used to make turquoise glass.

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Over the years, many terms have changed.... Most, more by "popular use" than accuracy...

It's something the older collectors have had to deal with...

Trying to "Hold Our Ground" on certain terms (Hence, the "Tri-stage thread...")

I think this is one of the reasons a lot of older collectors "Bow Out" of the boards. It's tough to see all that you know suddenly "change." And, no matter how hard you try to stand up to the "rules" that you know, a hoard of young experts will tell you what's what....

With time, the lines blurrrr...

The term "Akro Superman" starts to make sense...

Suddenly, Joseph's Coat of MANY colors, has turned predominantly blue, or yellow, or green...

It's hard to stand against the buffalo herd with your hand up, saying "Whoaaaa."

In time, many of "you" will become many of "us...."

Things you thought you knew, will change....

Oxblood has been "On the Move" for a long time.....

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At this time, I do not believe that any machine-made marble company founded after Akro made oxblood from recipe. I think there is "true oxblood" in some Alleys and in some other marbles, but I lean toward it being an accidental chemical occurrence made possible by copper in the glass formula - for example, the copper used to make turquoise glass.

I have a problem with the way this quote reads. I take from this quote that "true oxblood" can only be made using the MFC/Akro formulas, and that any other way is not a true oxblood. If I go to the paint store and buy green paint from 3 different suppliers, are they not green? I'm sure they all may have the same color, but I'm also sure they may have reached the final color point via different chemical makeups.

Oxblood is a color term made up by marble collectors to name a certain color. If you can find any marble literature from the mid 1700's on that has the term "oxblood" used to name this color, I'd like to see it.

Final colors in glass have many conditions that need to be perfect to repeat the color on a regular basis, especially reds. Who is to say that MFC/Akro didn't screw up the batch of cherry red during a run because it rained hard for a week and the red "browned" out.

I'm not trying to find fault with these posts, only just like opinions, there are many ways to get to the final answer. Are all correct? Are a few correct? Are they all wrong, but decent guesses? You must decide for yourself and make an educated decision.

Lou

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I don't think it can only be made from the formula. I think the copper-based oxblood which Akro and MFC used can come about under the right conditions even without a formula. I think it happened in Pelts and Marble Kings even.

I am however trying to help hold the line that "true oxblood" for most marble collectors is the opaque, copper-based version.

Perhaps "traditional" would be a better word to use.

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is more true than people realize. We all have different perceptions of color, we are taught from a young age that red is red and blue is blue, but we know them only because we were told that is what they look like. The human eye is such a complicated device that reports back to the brain where the decision is made. Throughout your life, your perceptions will change because your physiology changes.

I remember my father went into the hospital and had an artery in his heart opened up. After he got back home, he told me it was like someone had put a brand new tube in his television. Colors were brighter, and more vibrant, and they had changed because his blood flow to his heart was reopened. We are complicated creatures, and I see this debate reaching far into marble collecting future.

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Oxblood is a color term made up by marble collectors to name a certain color. If you can find any marble literature from the mid 1700's on that has the term "oxblood" used to name this color, I'd like to see it.

It's more than the color. It's a certain look that comes with the opaqueness of the copper version.

There isn't that much marble literature. Marbles were just toys. Not big enterprise.

I have found documents from throughout the 1800's which mention copper-based oxblood but not in connection with marbles. That's where I got the idea that for glazes the ideal version of oxblood was probably NOT opaque.

There is a special glass in MFC's American Cornelian marbles. Somehow the tradition developed within the marble world to call it oxblood. I don't know who started it or when. I totally appreciate the fact that this is a specialized use of the term oxblood. But it's pretty special glass. If we wanna tweak the word oxblood to allow any glass of oxblood color under the umbrella, then a new word or phrase will be found to describe American Cornelian glass. It's just that special. It stands apart.

OMG, I'm arguing with Lou! eeeek! (actually, this is fun. ROFL. Thanks for playing with me Lou!)

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It's more than the color. It's a certain look that comes with the opaqueness of the copper version.

There isn't that much marble literature. Marbles were just toys. Not big enterprise.

I have found documents from throughout the 1800's which mention copper-based oxblood but not in connection with marbles. That's where I got the idea that for glazes the ideal version of oxblood was probably NOT opaque.

There are two books which you have not ever entered in your marble book bibliography and you own them both. They were gifts to you.I suggest you read one as it has a fair amount about oxblood.

The term Oxblood is NOT used elsewhere in the glass world beside marbles.It is a term to describe a range of red colors. It was apparently assigned to marbles by children. The name does NOT in any way say that there is only one way to make it or that there is only one color of oxblood. As I have explained to you before. Oxblood is a name of a range of red colors NOT one specific color NOR is it made by one specific technique. As I have explained to you before, Red paint can be oil based, water based, etc. and still be red. The same is true of oxblood.

Since you are telling us that AKRO is "true Oxblood" please tell us where in the literature this formuila may be found to prove your point. I have spoken with the Rakow Research Library and they assure me that Mr. Hellmer's "Batch Book of Formulae" contains no recipes for making Oxblood. His formula book is dated 1921...when AKRO was still hand gathered.

I will end this by telling you that I have number of pieces of oxblood cullet.I promise you that great marble collectors are very confused by them and have trouble IDing them. One is AKRO and I won't tell here what the others are...but they all believe each is a piece of Oxblood.

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There are two books which you have not ever entered in your marble book bibliography and you own them both. They were gifts to you.I suggest you read one as it has a fair amount about oxblood.

I currently own a number of books which I never put into my bibliography.

The term Oxblood is NOT used elsewhere in the glass world beside marbles.

Yes, it is.

Or at least it was. Hmmmm, is that a trick reference? "glass world"? You might be able to make yourself correct by specially defining that term.

I simply know that oxblood has long been used to describe a copper-based glass formula.

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Since you are telling us that AKRO is "true Oxblood" please tell us where in the literature this formuila may be found to prove your point.

I backed off calling Akro's oxblood "true Oxblood". Now I think "traditional" is a better word. I said that I do not know when it came to be tagged with the name oxblood. I don't know how old the "tradition" is. Yet, I think that is a fair word for it.

I stand by MFC and Akro's version being a special version of glass with the oxblood color, worthy of its own name.

Oxblood is a color. But MFC's American Cornelian glass is a special version of glass with that color.

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see...I knew this would be a lively topic, and I think that the idea of passing information thru history is right on, the definitions of "what is what" do get deluded over time, and there needs to be some historical accuracy maintained regardless, maybe a footnote, "after Akro formula", I see Jabo trying to created (not recreate) an Oxblood red formula, sometimes quite well. and the periods between them and the last Akro Oxblood being produced as possible "lucky" mistakes.

I always thought these were "champion" and have that close to "Oxblood" look, and could easily be found on a site or auction as "Oxbloods" but I still think they are not.......

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Interesting thoughts, Pop.

Stephanie, I would be very surprised if an oxblood color could accidentally occur in turqouise glass, no matter how much copper it has in it, or whatever process it goes through.

mike

As you know, I shot my wad on that one at LOM in the last coupla days. The alternative would surprise me but obviously I don't know.

Now I'm trying to think of a good name for Akro's and MFC's oxblood. Any suggestions? I'm toying with something like

th_artistformerlyknownasprince.jpg

Think it could catch on?

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Stephanie, I don't understand what you are saying. ( that's never happened before ! )

Regarding turquoise glass with red, isn't the alternative simply that a red was added to the turquoise ?

I don't know either about any of this, just seems logical.

Isn't that the symbol for Prince ? It won't catch on.

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Yeah, that one's taken. was just thinkin' along those lines. Obviously, it would take more than me coming up with the name. Just thinkin . . . . :P

Oh Mike, please let me off the hook on the turquoise <--> ox thingy. :) It just happened so much more in turquoise than in other colors (iiuc) but not enough to seem intentional (to me). Oh my head. I'm happy with what all I said over at LOM. If it wasn't compelling enough, I guess that's that. Some distance from the subject would be good for me now.

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Like any trait in a specialized hobby - a term to describe a valued trait can become overly-defined. Over time, the interest in oxblood has grown as a prized/desired trait. It has gotten to the point where we see many "Is this oxblood?" threads and folks hope that the brown in their marble is indeed what we call oxblood. I think that the interest in oxblood can cause us to over-define it.

Occam's Razor (slightly translated) states that: "Give two otherwise equal solutions, the simpler one is the better." I tend to believe in simpler solutions to what become difficult definitions. To this end I'll pose this question:

"Was that marble with "oxblood" a manufacturer's production item?" Was it in their Salesman's cases? Was it a standard production item?

If the answer is yes, and it meets the conventional definition of oxblood color glass broadly accepted in the collecting hobby - then I would call it an oxblood. I think we tend to lose sight of the fact that a marble factory made marbles that conformed to specific types as ordered by and sold to their retail customers. It wasn't a free-form, "make whatever you want today" manufacturing business. Look at the stock boxes (which is what retailers received and sold from). The marbles in them conformed to a standard. They were products with defined characteristics. The huge marble dumps that contain marbles that didn't conform to the manufacturing established standard for color and appearance are a testament to their quality control to a standard.

I recommend that we focus on the manufacturer's stock box/bag/etc. products and look at oxblood as a standard glass choice. If we focus on the exceptions (and there are huge numbers of exceptions because there have been so many digs at factories - I predict that we will not succeed in agreeing what oxblood is. I could give you my simple definition of oxblood that I use - and a moment later produce a few examples that break at least on the the definition rules - all the while being true oxblood because it is a dug example that came from a problem or experimental run. Exception can cause us to get off track.

These comments are made without addressing the oxblood that came from German hand-gathered marbles. This is a specialty collecting area and I believe that just about everyone who collects them know what is and isn't "oxblood".

We can debate the chemistry - but to what end? No-one is going to develop a litmus test for marbles.

I have a lot of Akro oxblood cullet. There are some mild variances - but they are generally consistent with the definition that has served me well or many years.

I think that any discussion of a marble trait definition has to keep in mind that novices need to be able to grasp it visually (after handling valid examples) and it have relatively simple visual diagnostics that all of us can look at, point to, describe and say "that is oxblood BECAUSE........."

My two cents,

Alan

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