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Things Come Back Around


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Saturday I went to an auction and lo and behold for the first time in some time I saw some marbles. Not much but did have a bag of about a 100 Vitro tigereye types. After waiting through a variety of sold items I got the marbles with no competitors. So not abad day, bunch of older marbles for a good price. However, looking at the marbles they looked familiar, like I had seen before. When I got home I discovered why, 15+ years ago a local friend was called by a person who said he had some very old marbles for sale. We had just started collecting for a couple years in those days so he asked me to go with him to look at the marbles and help advise him. We drive about 40 miles out into the countryside to see this gentleman.

He had his old marbles ready and the Grists Volume No, 1 Big Book of Marbles setting up besides the box of marbles. He began by saying these marbles were exactly as in the book and were rare old handmades. He had about 20 bags with labels on them as he had identified from book. Even for beginning collectors we knew what a handmade was - he had Alley common yellow and white swirls labeled as onionskin lutzs, etc. What he really had was a small collection of 1950s machine mades. He proceeded to put the hard sell on my friend and tell him they were worth thousands and couldn't part for less. Well after looking over my friend really wanted the bag of tigereyes (marked as agate corkscrews) and asked me what he should do, I told him to make him an offer for what they were worth since there were a lot of purple ones in lot. He offered a very generous $30 and the dealer went wild , almost kicking us out of the house.

Anyway we discussed several times over the years the attemptred scam on him but when I got home and looked closer at bags of marbles I got at auction I could see same labels I saw 15+ years ago. Here was the very same lot of marbles with none sold....I was blown away and had to call friend and tell him story, How they wound up back this way would be another good story but got them all for $10..





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