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Reproduction Marbles: Sulphides & More?


Steph
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I think it would be cool if we could talk about some of the marbles which bring high dollars in auctions because they're confused for older marbles. With examples and as much as we are able to know about when they were made. And with as little negativity as possible. We can complain about them being made, or we can try to learn about them. The choice might not be as cut and dried as that, but if there is too much negativity, then it seems that fewer people will participate in sharing information.

These auctions are the ones which bring this to mind for me now.

Marble blue with Cross 1,38 - 1,4 inch from Lauscha Ger

EAGLE MARBLE GREEN SIZE 1,39 INCH

Some pix from the auctions: (click to enlarge)

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Those are new. However, they are not made by the same person whom Hansel commissioned to make the coin sulphies in 2004. Norbert Geitner made those. If I'm not mistaken, this is one of Mr. Geitner's:

BWC2eZgWkKGrHgoH-DUEjlLlypo6BKVjDmj.jpg

I'm going to see if I can get pix of the coin sulphides made in 2004, and maybe of some of the other coin sulphides which were made before 2004. Someone named Didi was making those.

Would love to hear from others. I've asked Lee (Marble Wife) to add whatever she can. She has access to a lot of different reproductions.

Okay, let's have some fun now! LOL

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We can complain about them being made, or we can try to learn about them.

Wise, wise words, Steph!!

If complaining or being angry could stop it, it would make sense. Since that's not the case, all we can do is suck it up and try to learn as much as we can.

That certainly doesn't mean we have to be happy about it!!! But, the end result is far more beneficial.

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I think the most important thing to distinguish is the difference between a contemporary example and a forgery. If a contamporary artist produces sulphides, there is nothing wrong with that imo. However, if someone tries to imitate and place a pontil on that new marble, that is wrong and a forgery. Same thing could be said on any reproduction of antiquities.

Sami

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Fake Sulphides that I personally handled:

FakeSulphideCoin8.jpg

FakeSulphideRooster.jpg

FakeSulphideTurtle.jpg

Fantasy "Atlanta Porcelains":

AtlantaPorcelains.jpg

Scott Patrick Guineas: (Note: Scott sold them for a dollar and was clear that he made them. People other than Scott sometimes re-sold them as genuine Guineas) I purchased these from Scott at New Philly many years ago.

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Fake Master boxes:

Master6Boxreprowhiteint1.jpg

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Master6boxreprowhiteint3.jpg

Master6boxreprosbacks.jpg

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OK, they are very neat. You have a total marble moron here. Could someone please explain to a neophyte the difference between the reproductions and the antiques in terms I could understand and maybe see. I have no fear of ever buying a counterfit sulphid. I don't care for them and unless one pops out of the dirt at my feet I will probably never own one. But the guineas, yes indeedy, I NEEDY one of those. Badly!

Thanks

Pen

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There is an "artist" that has been making fakes/reproduction for going on 20 years (possibly longer). He was the first artist doing so that I recall - and there was quite a stir when his name was mentioned ~15 years ago. He used to turn out some very high end pieces. He sort of quietly disappeared for a while - then quietly reappeared at a non-vintage show 3 years ago (IIRC). It was the only chance I had to meet him. 100% of what was on his table was knockoffs of handmades. I was struck by three things:

1. The quality of what he made - even when he wasn't trying that hard.

2. His ability to make high-end handmade knockoffs with soft Moretti glass.

3. The presence of fairly accurate blowholes and faceted or ground pontils

He occasionally thew in whimsical additions such as Lutz or mica in handmades like Indians - where you would not find such materials.

To be fair - he never represented his work as anything other than torch-made by him. I had no doubts that an unprincipled person could buy one of his pieces for $15 - and resell it to an unsuspecting person for 30 times that cost.

Some of his work (I will not be identifying the artist):

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The pink glass in this piece is almost dead-on to that found in Banded Opaques:

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Transparent blue core:

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Oxblood on opaque green:

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Transparent green glass core with mica:

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Penelope, You almost need to be taken by the hand to make your way through the minefield of Reproductions especially if you're relatively new to the hobby. It's tough often for ol' timers! Trust helps especially when you recognize it in sellers. A little faith. But mostly a gradual accumulation of knowledge that with Reproductions mostly comes from examining them in hand and after also having handled the real thing. It's a tough one. Marbles are not easy. Besides being an arcane collecting field it's a minefield as previously mentioned. David

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I'll name a name . . . for the maker of these scenic chinas. Someone named Flessa in Germany.

I've actually heard three spellings of the name. Vlessa and Flesse also.

I welcome correction from someone with more intimate knowledge of the matter. Like Cees or Jeroen perhaps. But this is what I've heard and I choose to state the name because to this point it has seemed like mere rumor that this modern scenic maker might even exist. I think it is time to make it more concrete. But as I said, if I have any facts wrong, I welcome correction.

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Pen, a couple of things to look for..a basic rule of thumb you might say....

reverse twists (as seen on a couple of the oxbloods Alan posted),

and the absence of a cutline on a guinea.

( real deal guineas have at least 1 cutline<---take it to the bank)

both are pretty good indicators for the latest turn of the century marbles.

mayhaps not a hard and fast rule on the handmades, but enough to make you seek opinions from the veteran collectors before you mortgage the farm.

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LOL What IS it about those eagle Benningtons!!! I want one, too!!!

But.... Not for a couple hundred dollars!!! LOL

Alan.. Those are beautiful and I certainly could see how they might filter into the system over time... But, as good as they are, there's something about them that screams "Wrong!!" It's just enough to make them almost safe... Also, are both pontils polished?

That 8 coin sulphide could be a fooler!!

OK... I'm gonna ask the question in this thread that would scare me in the other thread....

And, I really hope it doesn't open a bag of worms. I'm just torn about the answer...

Soooooooo..... Rich Shelby takes an old sulphide with a really bad fracture... It's heated and repaired... About the only thing that's really gonna give it away, would be the pontil.

Does he try to restore the pontil as best as possible??

At what point does a repair become so good that it is no longer relevant? :unsure:

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Alan.. Those are beautiful and I certainly could see how they might filter into the system over time... But, as good as they are, there's something about them that screams "Wrong!!" It's just enough to make them almost safe... Also, are both pontils polished?

:unsure:

Those particular pontils normally have a fire-polished top pontil that is a little "raw" (or open) and a faceted or ground bottom pontil.

I recommend that folks not underestimate the ability of these types to fool even experienced collectors. That particular artist has caused more past problems than anyone that is better know for repros today. Quite a number of people paid big dollars for his work - mistaking them for vintage. If he spent 1-2 minutes more on each piece - they would be far harder to detect. Put them in a cigar box at a famous flea market and presto. Its not if they could cause a problem - they HAVE in the past.

The examples I pictured were not made to fool anyone. I'll also note that collectors have plunked down several hundreds of dollars each for machine made fakes or reproductions that were far, far less convincing.

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OK, I agree I need to be taken under a trust worthy wing. No fear I will mortague the farm, it is already mortagued. I wouldn't on my own ever buy an expensive marble. But can I ask a silly question here? One thing I have noticed between the new and the old is that they feel different. They just don't feel right, the old ones have a much smoother denser feel then the new marbles, somehow even the beat up ones my fingers seem to glide over. The newer ones even if they are flawless feel alomst tacky? I guess is the only way to describe what I feel. Not that I have ever had my hands on a serious reproduction. Just your average joe marbles. Does this make sense or am I deluding myself? I wish I could describe it better. I guess it is like gemstones the real deal feels cool to the touch and fakes are warmer.

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The master marble #6 boxes were very good fakes. The only thing that gave them away was that the copies were made on new cardboard which was almost pure white on the inside. It wouldn't be hard to steam the glue off an original box and then spread it out and scan the outside onto a piece of cardboard. I fell for one a few years ago. Very good reproduction. Art

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I don't mean to speak for Rich and he proved his ability to restore a truly hopeless old marble, but it would be the wrong direction to try to place the pontil back on that marble. Would it be even possible?

I guess all that is exactly how I feel and where my question / doubt is....

My gut agrees that putting the pontil back on would be "wrong." I've been raised in the antiques business and that "morality" has been burned into my soul!!! ROFL

Soooo...... Would it be even possible? Is the real question....

If the answer is yes. And, it is indistinguishable from original, what makes it so wrong??

Please note... I don't necessarily feel it isn't wrong... I'm just questioning my own resolve, here...

It IS an original piece... It has experienced serious damaged... If it can be fully restored, why is that wrong??

I keep asking myself that question and the only answer I can come up with is...

"It just IS"

But, honestly.... I find that hard to justify.... Please help me!!! LOL

Those particular pontils normally have a fire-polished top pontil that is a little "raw" (or open) and a faceted or ground bottom pontil.

Urrrrggghhhh.... The faceted pontils make all the difference in the world....

Quite a few years ago, there were 2 large marbles that "hit the scene" at about the same time. One is "fairly" well known amongst older collectors. The other had far less publicity... I know the better known one has moved from "major collection" to "major collection" a few times... Every once in a while, news surfaces about it. The other, I caught a glimpse of, once... And, I've never seen or heard of it again...

I held them both and I can totally see why anyone would think they were authentic...

But the old saying, "If it looks too good to be true...." keeps ringing in the back of my head.

Like the "California sulphides" and the "exotics," there will always be a "Believer Camp" and a "Non-believer Camp." As much as some of the "major collections" people buy and sell these 2 marbles (or at least, the one that has moved around...) I just can't wrap my head around their authenticity...

Somehow, I think we may have just found out why...... ;)

One thing I have noticed between the new and the old is that they feel different. They just don't feel right, the old ones have a much smoother denser feel then the new marbles, somehow even the beat up ones my fingers seem to glide over. The newer ones even if they are flawless feel almost tacky? I guess is the only way to describe what I feel.

Pen (Is Pen OK? Or, Pene? LOL) Do you have an antiques background?? Distinguishing glass by it's "look" or "feel" is such a gift!!! Those who have it don't understand why others can't see it... I don't know if it's an "experience" thing, or a born-in "sense." But, when David says, "Go with your gut," it all depends on what your gut is capable of telling you...

'Sounds like you could be on the right path!! You just need to gain a little experience in this particular area to learn the details of having confidence in it. ;)

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