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What Makes A Marble "crown Jewell"


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What is the crown jewel of a collection?

Is it the rarest? For baseball card collectors, it is the mint Hones Wagner that recently sold for $2,300.000 . While an iron train sold at a record auction price of $263,000 .

--Are common marbles rare? In truth - ship loads and train cars full of these marbles left factories for decades to satisfy the needy appetite of playgrounds, game boards, sling shots and outhouses. Marbles may chip but they will neither rot nor rust. Estate liquidations, Increased publicity and raising prices have opened more eyes, thus more marbles continue to enter and circulate in the collecting market. And, occasionally, warehouse and attic caches turn up. Factory dumps in both the USA and Europe with the aid of “reconditions” continue to clouded some of the rarity claims.

Is it a true masterpiece produced intentionally by a skilled craftsman to demonstrate their skill? An early and pristine pintail drake decoy carved by Elmer Crowill sold for $1,130,000.

--The true old masterpiece marble remains an unchallenged jewel, characterized by a large size, near mint condition, intricate design features, possible inclusions, pleasing color combinations and flawless symmetry that combined to pushed the limits of the craft at that time and place

Contemporary marbles are technically more complex and flawless but they are still evolving with no end or masterpiece in sight.

Is it an eye pleasing mistake? Stamp collectors consider the 1918 inverted Jenny Airmail a visual delight. that is valued close to $1,000,000.

-- Error marbles were just that: rejected by the marble maker - or - caught by quality control workers and sent to the factory dump - fortunately some were saved by employees as curiosities. Heat, contamination and production problems that produced the atypical machine marbles commanding such high prices today were considered flawed and probably never intentionally sold. Once a run was started, the end product was relatively unchanged by the line workers. This reminds me of the motto of the potato chip factory in my town years ago. Printed on each bag was, “untouched by human hands.” And the reply was, “Yea, monkeys made ‘em.”

An object with sentimental value? Some remember some sacred piece your father proudly showed and told wonderful stories about. Priceless.

-- We all can recall talking to someone who treasures a worn leather bag of marbles. They would neither part with the bag nor its contents since it belonged to their father and it still holds his playing marbles and a prized agate shooter. “Oh, the wonderful marble stories dad could tell...”

Or, is it the collecting fad of the season? As time passes, the over-hyped art or antique falls rapidly from its crown jewel status.

-- Look what happened to the Vitro parrots or the early JABO runs.

Marbles as crown jewels follow the same path as other collectables - the eye, experiences and checkbook of the beholder influence their personal crown jewel title.

Big Indian, no braid

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Nice piece! You haven't been around in a while.

I've come back to add a few thoughts. My crown jewel is subjective. Mine is probably different from everyone elses. It would be something I value and not necessarily valued by anybody else.I might like the colors or the pattern or the size. Sometimes I think the crown jewel might be "created" by some collector or dealer who just happens to own a bunch of them. Maybe they want to sell for a profit. Just a thought.

Other than what I added, I think you are "spot on".

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