Jump to content

Scottish Carpet Bowls

Recommended Posts

I found these two attached carpet bowls in an antique shop. I liked them and picked them up but am not sure if they are indeed old. I know we have here very knowledgable members. Could anyone confirm if these old or new? Sorry about the size of the picture.

Thanks in advance,



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been pretty active with carpet balls as long as I've been collecting marbles....

First off.... What do you mean by "attached?" Are they really "attached?" or were they just together for sale?

Even for those who have been collecting since the remakes started, it's not always easy to tell old from new...

At one point, I had a connection to the woman who reopened her families business of making the originals (so.... Like Homer Laughlin's Fiesta, I don't consider them reproductions.) But, that was a LONG time ago... And, I've let it slip. I've tried a few times to reconnect, without much luck...

Also, I don't know if she was the ONLY maker of the new balls...

Soooo, back to these.... The size of the picture is GOOD!!! One of the very few ways of trying to tell (and, even at that, it's spotty....) is the condition of the glaze...

If the glaze is perfectly clear, clean and uncrazed, maybe just a few "hit marks" to give it character, I'd bet on new.... It's pretty tough to synthesize the old deep crazing and I really doubt there's an antique ball out there without it...

But then.... The newer balls have been around, now, for ??? 20 years?? Could they have developed grazing in that time?? Would burying them outside for a year do it??

The reason I wonder is... The colors of these balls cause me to question their age...

Pardon the snicker when I say, "I've seen a LOT of balls!!" and these are not typical antique colors... But then.... I've seen enough that I KNOW are antique to say, there are a good number of antique balls that are not typical... So... Hmmmm

In Paul Bauman's Third??? Edition of Collecting Antique Marbles, he explains using density to determine... Honestly.... I haven't experimented with that... I really think that Paul is probably the very MOST studied person on the topic... We've been in touch in the past. This might be a good excuse to see if I can reach him again...

I can't do it right now... I'm "out the door"... If I can, I'll try to look up the technique of doing this test.. Or, if someone else has the time...??

Stepping out of the "Is it Old or Is it New?" box.... I think it's safe to assume that these are not being churned out at a rapid rate... If they are even being churned out at all, anymore...

So, as much as the new have effected the cost of the old... Prices haven't really altered all that much in 30 or so years... Without the re-issues, I think they may have gone much higher. Instead, they seem to have dropped because of this very uncertainty... BUT, if there isn't much more production, the new will be absorbed as even they get older and the prices will go up again.... maybe...

Soooo again, back to these.... Unless you paid more than $150-200 dollars for all three... And, if you really like them. (The bottom one is cool!! I wonder what it is?? Bocci ball??)

I think your OK and I wouldn't worry too much about it, unless your going to resell them...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OH!!! AND......

There are a TON of very attractive, hollow Chinese "Decorator Balls" being imported!!

I forget to even mention these, because their age should be obvious....

But, to a newbie.... Maybe not...

Anyone who wants to buy carpet balls can easily tell "in hand." But, online, that's tougher!!

If in question, ask the seller if they are hollow... It's a good idea to become familiar with the designs... They have expanded their "pallet!!"

OTOH, just as decor... They ARE very cool!!! If anyone just likes them for that reason, let me know... I used to be able to get them for a buck each at the Christmas Tree Shoppes. But, I think they may be up to $2.99, now.... I'd be happy to pick some up for those who don't have an outlet nearby... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Sue! First, by attached I meant to say the attached picture. The balls are not attached to each other. These are 3 1/2" in diameter, huge and heavy carpet balls. The third is a seperate purchase which is a rubber ball from, I estimate, around 1940'ties. I agree that the colors and patterns of the carpet balls are unusual. One of them has 4 different colors on top of white base.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been surfing looking for a balls-up thread and this one appears to fit the bill.....ball, that is. Are you selling the rubber ball? High bounce? I collect Super Balls or High Bounce Balls. Even have some pee wees or pretty close to it. Yes, Paul's an authority on these although probably somewhat apoplectic over the new ones. Just casually mention California Sulphides to him! David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...