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Some Nibbles From A Two-Gallon Fish Bowl...


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Today I paid about $1/lb for a two-gallon fish bowl filled to the brim with marbles belonging to a local marble champ from the 1950s. It was heavy. They were happy to sell it to "someone who cared."

Marbles were all pre-1960s and played with. Lots of surface wear of the sort where if you dip them in water they look mint, but the fog returns once they dry. Only a handful or two were truly mint, but it was great fun sorting through them and imagining the battles the champ won on those hot, dusty playgrounds to collect this horde.

Near the bottom of the bowl the fellow on the bottom left corner of the group pictured here rolled out and instantly caught my eye. "That's an interesting brushed patch," I thought to myself. But then as I brought it closer I knew it was special. Those seams, those colors. Not just on the surface but dipping into the transparent base.

Sure it's a bit worn but a little spray of water makes it darn near "wet" mint, and that's likely the wettest mint of that breed I'll ever afford. ;) As a bonus it looks like I found a cousin or two in there to keep him (her?) company.

Out here in Southern California, where the antique stores sell cat-eyes for $1 each and the flea markets have no fleas, I consider this a score.

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This one looks so great "wet" it sure would be nice to not have to use a spray bottle to really appreciate it.

I've read elsewhere that some type of clear coat can just about achieve this look. What are the risks and are the results worth it? Any particular types or brands, like Minwax?

A few months back I tried the jeweler's rouge cloth but it never worked for me. Good finger exercises though.

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This one looks so great "wet" it sure would be nice to not have to use a spray bottle to really appreciate it.

I've read elsewhere that some type of clear coat can just about achieve this look. What are the risks and are the results worth it? Any particular types or brands, like Minwax?

A few months back I tried the jeweler's rouge cloth but it never worked for me. Good finger exercises though.

I would be very careful with any type of clear coat. Even when they say non-yellowing, most after time will turn a yellowish color. The best way to get it back to perfect if there are no real deep chips is to have it polished. There are some real good folks out there who would do that for you.

SNYD

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