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Alley Anacortes Salesman Sample Box


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The way he phrases it is,"History links the set to the Alley Agate Company and the Anacortes Factory."

I think I know what he means.

This appears to be the box pictured on p. 21 of the Vitro book. Apparently what gives it its historical link to Anacortes is that it was in the "Vitro Find". Photo is "Courtesy of Raelyn Dolton".

It was ID-ed in the Vitro book as a Vitro-Agate Sample Case. Might have been the only box like this known about at the time. So appears to have been some confusion based on where the box was found.

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The box was found in an old Vitro desk when that stuff arrived at Anacordes. It is the box pictured and IDed as Vitro in the Vitro book. It was part of the "big Anacordes buy." It was sold and now Bert is selling it. I do not know if he is the owner or selling it on consignment.

It has been said that the box when sold the first time sold for a lot bigger number than $6,300. Some think the value is about $15,000 to 20,000. I have no idea what the value is.

If I wanted to know the reserve, I write Bert and ask.

The box itself matches the box owned by the Alley family as do some of the marbles.

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The Salesman case is real. Only two known is true. Several of the marbles in the one for sale are not original to the case. It is still a very rare item. It would take some effort and could be some long time to fill the case correct. The other all original case was known and seen by some of us before the second case was discovered. I think Mr. Fisher backfilled a few lost marbles. Also from my info,there were some marbles yet missing when it was dicovered in Anacortes,in a desk drawer. Some other loose marbles also in the drawer were put into the case to fill it. The original full Alley salesman sample case is and will remain with the Alley family. The case listed is a rare item and lots of value. Some of the marbles needed to fill it correctly,i have never been able to locate so far. It may be possible to fill it correct but not a easy task or done in a short time. I was and still definately interested in this case and what happens to it. Good luck to any,if a winning bidder.

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p-a and Ron~~

Since you both have direct knowledge of this box I'm curious about the following:

p-a: "Speculation is that Lawrence E and Fisher were friends and that is how it originally got to Vitro. The speculation continues the Fisher liked the box and the idea and tried putting some Vitros in the box....and there it sat until rediscovered at Anacordes.

also, "The box was found in an old Vitro desk when that stuff arrived at Anacordes. It is the box pictured and IDed as Vitro in the Vitro book. It was part of the "big Anacordes buy." It was sold and now Bert is selling it."

Q: How do you know this to be true?

Ron ~~ "The case listed is a rare item and lots of value. Some of the marbles needed to fill it correctly,i have never been able to locate so far. It may be possible to fill it correct but not a easy task or done in a short time. I was and still definately interested in this case and what happens to it."

Q: How many of the marbles shown are not, in your opinion, original to the case?

thanks, guys

John

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Well, bidding has ended at $9,900 without the reserve being met. So the answer to the question of value is, as of today, that it is worth $9,900 to a (presumably knowledgable) buyer. However, by definition, without a willing buyer *and* willing seller the value remains undetermined, but it can be said to be less than reserve.

Bert didn't respond to my query regarding the reserve price.

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John,

Ebay is the last place to "place" a value on a marble (or related items) and the same goes for shows or any other auction place. You can buy a marble on ebay and sell it for 3x as much at a show and vice versa. There are plenty of collectors out there that either don't use ebay or don't surf the web period. You can never tell what you're going to get until you get it.

Kevin.

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Alan ~ I was just trying to count the dissimilar marbles as you were posting.

If the two boxes were the same to begin with then there are quite a few substitutes. It's hard to determine in a column of 3/2 which are the originals and which are the substitutes but it is something in excess of twenty(?)

So, yeah, 40%± of the box isn't original which would certainly impact the value.

Interesting auction.

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John,

Ebay is the last place to "place" a value on a marble (or related items) and the same goes for shows or any other auction place. You can buy a marble on ebay and sell it for 3x as much at a show and vice versa. There are plenty of collectors out there that either don't use ebay or don't surf the web period. You can never tell what you're going to get until you get it.

Kevin.

Kevin ~ with respect, if something is exposed to "the market", ie, given wide public exposure, the currency is common, there is a willing buyer and seller, by definition a "value" for that given day is established.

If five more boxes in perfect condition, completely intact, are found tomorrow and there is a public auction and the price changes (presumably downward) then *that* is the value on November 16, 2011. If, on the other hand you and I decide to barter over a particular marble and no one else knows about the transaction, then the value *to me* is what I paid for it.

A good example of this was some crazy trading that when on a couple of years ago on a particular type of marble (MM Sunbursts? I think I'm mis-remembering that) were driven up because someone in England was willing to pay significantly above the going rate. This variation in currency exchange briefly changed the *value*. On that day (those days) the value was what it was and it was significantly higher than anyone else was willing to pay.

In short, one can't claim that the box in question is "priceless" if no one is willing to pay above a certain amount, in this case $9,900.

Part of the definition of value is "public exposure". If a series of transactions take place without being exposed to public scrutiny the value on that day is only what it is worth to that individual buyer and seller.

It is the difference between a stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange (public exposure, common currency, willing/buyer seller and a few other criteria which I've forgotten) and you buying a marble from me (without anyone else seeing it) at a marble show.

John

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Kevin ~~ one important aspect of "value" which I omitted and you rightly touched on is "the free flow of information". Using your example of a show situation it is reasonable to assume that the nature of the marble market is such that the fragmentation of information is to the disadvantage of the parties trying to establish a fair price at any given time. It is the exact opposite of my NYSE example where the information is immediate, concise and up-to-date.

In this case almost 50 people were willing to place viable bids. Based on that I think it is fair to assume that an ebay auction meets the definition of a public auction, common currency, blah, blah, blah...

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It was stated that the reserve was $10,000 in this tread. If someone wanted to show an exaggerated excitement in this auction by bidding it to the edge of the reserve, would this really set a true value? Some bid an auction with a reserve up just to find out what is then, retract their bid. Does the bid before the retraction set a true value for that day if the bid was done by the same bidder or one with the same intent? E-bay is not a true auction in that, when you stand in front of an auctioneer and have the high bid having reviewed an item in hand, it's yours! With E-bay, it's not over until payment has been made. mon

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Hey John,

Thanks for the market explanation. But isn't this just part of the market? I mean unlike the NYSE exchange that has set times world wide and access by nearly everyone who wants to participate you don't have side bar auctions such as the one being held in Ohio this weekend which is a walk-in special and no absentee bidding (on-line). So if the 3/4 golden rebel sells for $100 dollars (the one at the said auction) does this mean that it is only worth $100 even though 5/8th's golden rebels sell on ebay for $400? I am not talking about side bar one on one deals i am talking about different parts to a collective marble market.

It's kinda funny because I had this same conversation at the Las Vegas show last year with someone who was saying that marble prices have gone down and he referred to ebay. At the same time Morphy had an auction and brought in premium prices so i referred to his auction. At that point which auction do you go off of? The difference between the to markets is that Morphy has people actually get to come in and look at the marbles they are purchasing plus there are the collectors that don't do ebay.

This is just my opinion

Thanks,

Kevin.

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