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How About My Name, My Face, And Preference


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Hello marble collectors

My name is Jeroen Pater. I am 42 years old (just for one more day though), married with Petra, and I have a son Bart who is 7 years old, and a daughter Sofie who is 2 years old. I work as a forester at the Dutch Forestry Commission. I studied at the forestry school. We don’t have a lot forests in Holland (like the USA), so there is only one such school in Holland. Beside old marbles my other great hobby are ancient trees, old and large trees in Europe. I collect historical information about them, like old photo’s, books etc. And of course I visit them and make photos. I have written a book about old trees which was published in 2006. In Dutch, French and German Language. If you google “Les arbres remarquables d'Europe” or “Europas alte Bäume, Ihre Geschichten, ihre Geheimnisse” you will find my book.

I started collect old marbles when I was a young boy. At primary school I always tried to trade the modern marbles for old ones. I remembered that one time I trade 110 modern marbles for one old one. An absurd number, but I like that old one very much. After primary school I lost my interest in marbles. Sold the new ones I won during all the years of marble playing, but I always kept the old ones. My interest in old marbles started again in 2004. When I build a new house on the place where the house of my grandfather stood, I found a big 4.5 cm salt glazed stoneware marble. It looked very nice, and I wondered what it was. I asked several people, and it turned out to be a 400 year old marble made in Raeren or Frechen in Germany. I started to collect more of them. And of course I was interested if they could be found in other countries too.

So in 2008 I think I looked at ebay.com if thei were for sale in the USA too. I first had to find out what the English name for “knikker” was. Then I saw for the first time the old handmade German marbles. I was struck by there beauty, and was surprice that some of those marbles were so big. But I also saw the prices one had to pay, to buy a nice large marble. The stoneware marbles were much cheaper. I decided first that those marbles were to expensive for me, and left them alone. But I could not get them out of my mind.

I noticed that the salt glazed stoneware marbles were very rare in the USA. I could not find them on ebay. So I thought perhaps I could sell some to get money to buy the old German handmade marbles. So in 2010 I came in contact with late Alan Basinet. I spoke with him and we agreed that he would try to sell some of my stoneware marbles. He also told me that there was a Dutch collector with a very good collection of marbles and great knowledge of old handmade marbles, Jeroen van Valkenburg.

Alan expected that my stoneware marble would sell rather good, but in the end they did just so so. I think the average price they sell for was about $50. In the mean time I had a lot of contact with Jeroen vV. He told me that he hand polished old marbles too. So in November 2010 I bought my first big marble. A pretty beaten up onionskin for $80. Even in the bad state it was I was very pleased when I opened the package. I never held such a big 2-1/4 inch marble in my hand before. Something a little boy would dream of. I brought it to Jeroen vV. I could take a look at his fantastic collection too. Well he polished it, and it became a pretty marble. (see photos my first onionskin before and after buffing)

Slowly I start to learn a little about the old handmade German marbles. I noticed that in my collection of old marbles from primary school I had 6 or 7 of those old marbles, all latticinio types. In the mean time I have bought some other marbles too for my collection. I have managed to find a way to get some money with buy and selling some kind of Spanish lego building bricks. Here in Holland it is possible to buy them cheap, and in Spain they get crazy about it.

So here you see me with my small but fine collection. For only two years of serious collecting old hand made marbles that is not so bad I think. So I think everybody can guess that my preference are old handmade marbles.

With best regards,





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