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Watch Out For Reworked Handmade Marbles!!!!!!!!


jeroen
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Dear collectors,

I want to warn you all that there are some very good reworked handmade marbles around. A few weeks ago I made a post about a super mica onionskin marble. I traded it with Bernie Benavidez. I got in contact with Bernie in the beginning of this year. He told me he is collecting for a long time, and has a very good reputation in the marble world and is well respected .

But last week I showed my super onionskin to my friend Jeroen van Valkenburg, and he told me it is reworked/ reheated. Done by a very good marble repair man. I had some doubts about the marble, because I saw, what I thought were some tiny scratches. I asked more details about those lines, but I did not got it, because even Bernie thought the marble is perfect, a 10.0 marble! No worry Jeroen it is perfect he told me.

I have post some photos on which you can see what is wrong with this marble. The first photo shows many small lines. Caused by cooling the marble to quick after it was reheated. Then on the second photo you see some of those small milky white coloration. These are remaining’s of small chips, or subsurface moons. Rich Santa calls it “bird shit” He told me that is what you get when reheating marbles with subsurface moons or cracks. He had to “pick” that bird shit out in order to get a clean marble.

Also noticeable are the many, many tiny air bubbles. Also visible in the opening of the pontil. See the third photo. And the pontil itself is made of many small facets (I could not catch that on camera). Something that is not how it should be on such a kind of marble. To see more photos is full resolution go to www.monumentaltrees.eu

So learn about this. I expected a super 10.0 grade marble, but I got a reworked one instead. It is an very hard lesson for me. It took me a lot of time this deal. I will not trade ever again without making sure all parties are able to accurately describe and guarantee their marbles.

Jeroen

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Yes, this is very disappointed. I find it hard to believe that even such very well experienced collectors like Bernie, who has probably seen thousands of marbles, was fooled by this one. You need to have the best jewellery magnifiers, the same they use when looking at diamonds or other expensive gemstones, to find out it is reworked!

Jeroen

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Or have examined several Torched marbles. Like polished marbles once one sees and holds a few of them they are much easier to detect. Sorry for your disappointment. But until the torch workers sign their reheated creations many folks will keep getting taken until they learn the hard way.

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I have a few questions for your consideration:

1. Is the little opening I see at one of the pontils original? It might be because if a person torched that section, there wouldn't be any marks whatsoever because of the heat of the flame melts ALL glass smooth..

2. Are you sure all the little bubbles didn't come from original seed glass back in the day? I see so many micro-bubbles in your picture it leads me to think seed glass was used in the original making of the marble.

3. The series of scale-like diagonal marks could have been made when the original marble was dragged along a metal surface causing a rapid series of chill marks when it was made. If it were polished, I think the grit (polished) used would have taken them out.

I am not convinced that you have studies the effects of torching or polishing a marble to make the conclusions you have drawn.

I don't know that much about polishing an old marble, there are others that are more qualified than I am BUT for 24 years I have torched old glass and from the pictures you have presented, I have more questions than answers before I agree that onionskin was torched in MHO.

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I have a few questions for your consideration:

1. Is the little opening I see at one of the pontils original? It might be because if a person torched that section, there wouldn't be any marks whatsoever because of the heat of the flame melts ALL glass smooth..

2. Are you sure all the little bubbles didn't come from original seed glass back in the day? I see so many micro-bubbles in your picture it leads me to think seed glass was used in the original making of the marble.

3. The series of scale-like diagonal marks could have been made when the original marble was dragged along a metal surface causing a rapid series of chill marks when it was made. If it were polished, I think the grit (polished) used would have taken them out.

I am not convinced that you have studies the effects of torching or polishing a marble to make the conclusions you have drawn.

I don't know that much about polishing an old marble, there are others that are more qualified than I am BUT for 24 years I have torched old glass and from the pictures you have presented, I have more questions than answers before I agree that onionskin was torched in MHO.

Hello,I am not that professioned to can give you a good answer. But if those lines would have been caused by dragging the marble along a metal surface, than those lines should be IN the glass, likes a scratch. But these lines are ON the glass, so caused by something else. Jeroen

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Hate to here that Jeroen.

Can you post a picture of the whole marble in general??? Would like to see it.

I didn't know you sold marbles, I bookmarked your website!!!!!

Hello,

You can find photos of the whole marble on my website now. It is a huge photo. The fact that this marble has no touch marks, cold roll lines, a small flat spot, on which the marble rested during cooling or what so ever is curious. well most of you know what kind of things there are on an old large handmade marble formed during manufacturing. Non of my other large marbles are free of this. They all have some of that. And the pontil is made of at least 20 or so very small facets. They are different than with all my other marbles. Back than they used large wheels to make those facets. So the facets are mostly large, and just a few. Jeroen

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I can obtain the same look on the glass then encase clear (ever so slightly) over those marks to make it look like what your picture shows - it's a very easy technique to do. This is why i never try to reproduce what was done (even though others do) but torch a marble to bring it back as near but not exactly like it was made a long time ago. As Galen says, study and gain experience to easily tell a reproduction verses the "real" thing. Furthermore, I have "retwisted" old swirls at the pontils and onion skins to close the holes but I refuse to recreate original pontils. I have about 190 swirl repairs and 125 onionskin repairs done for collectors. NONE of them will have original looking pontils but they all look like new except for that.

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Thanks for showing the pic's of the marble. The super large version is very helpful!!! As a polisher, I'll tell you what i see. It appears that at some point it was polished, whom ever did it, didn't clean the heads/machine/grit right. Left a piece of grit from a earlier stage and BAM, lines/scratches. It is very clear if you look under the high light in the photo, see how it in a circle pattern, scratches.

I'm not sure about all that crazing around the pontil, tho.

Now what to do with it. If it were mine, I'd run it in stage 2 for about 5 minutes (remove scratches), then about 2 hours in final polish (very watery) and it should come out very beautiful.

My buddy has one of the 300x microscopes on a stand with the long tubes, you have to stand up to use it, anyway. He would put the marbles I would do for him under it, no lines or anything, he was always amazed at my work. I'm hoping to get back into it. I sold my machine years ago, and I may be able to buy it back.

If I'm off base with this post, just ignore it.

It's still a very pretty marble, IMO.

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This reworking has been around for almost 20 years. Another clue is to look at the surface with a loupe under a very bright light. The surface will have very narrow concentric ripples around the marble. It's a bit hard to describe, but once you see it you don't forget what it looks like. I'll see if I have a pic of a closeup in my archives.

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I can obtain the same look on the glass then encase clear (ever so slightly) over those marks to make it look like what your picture shows - it's a very easy technique to do. This is why i never try to reproduce what was done (even though others do) but torch a marble to bring it back as near but not exactly like it was made a long time ago. As Galen says, study and gain experience to easily tell a reproduction verses the "real" thing. Furthermore, I have "retwisted" old swirls at the pontils and onion skins to close the holes but I refuse to recreate original pontils. I have about 190 swirl repairs and 125 onionskin repairs done for collectors. NONE of them will have original looking pontils but they all look like new except for that.

@Rich

I have a question. If a marble is reheated, is it necessary to add additional glass to it (if the marble had hits with missing glass) or is there no need to add glass in this process ? I am still not sure what I should think about remelted marbles. I don't like polished or buffed marbles because in this process glass is removed. I don't like repaired marbles with polymer because something is added. But if a marble is just reheated without taking or adding something I could probably live with it. Or with other words, it is in my oppinnion the best way to bring back the beauty of a marble. But I still prefer a marble with same flaws to a reworked marble.

Interesting thread !!

Ron

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The second photo shows the moon shaped bird shit colored things, the remains of chips/ subsurface moons.

Hi Jeroen, It's a pity, I am really sorry to hear that the marble isn't what you expected.

Just wondering. Does the surface of the marble looks old or does it become smoother during the reheating process ? Would you mind if I put your pictures on my homepage to warn other people from reheated marbles ?

PLMK

Ron

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Good question Ron. Think of it as a ball of water (a liquid). A ball of water will try to naturally fill in the "dents" and "hit marks" and attempt to always stay round. Now think of glass when it is heated to and past it's melting point (now also a liquid). Gravity allows glass to attempt to be naturally round just like the water ball. Therefore, the lowest "hits" or "dents" will be fllled in when the marble is molten on the surface by the glass that was not dented in. You don't lose glass when torching, it just relocates from a higher level into the lower level. Polishing removes glass and takes the volume off to a point of the deepest damage. Both techniques restore a marble but do not duplicate the original.... just makes it look a lot better!

I use this fact when I repair old glass. Since I don't know that actual glass they used, I can't add modern glass since it might not be compatible. So I have to rely on the natural process of glass wanting to be naturally round when it is liquid.

I hope this helps.

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In answering your question often times some glass is removed when torching out the defects, as the glass can become cruddy looking in areas of hits cracks and dings so the torch worker will pinch off pieces of glass to remove the ugly cloudy areas. I do not use scientific terms as I am not a scientist,(LOL)

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In answering your question often times some glass is removed when torching out the defects, as the glass can become cruddy looking in areas of hits cracks and dings so the torch worker will pinch off pieces of glass to remove the ugly cloudy areas. I do not use scientific terms as I am not a scientist,(LOL)

true dat

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Hi Jeroen, It's a pity, I am really sorry to hear that the marble isn't what you expected.

Just wondering. Does the surface of the marble looks old or does it become smoother during the reheating process ? Would you mind if I put your pictures on my homepage to warn other people from reheated marbles ?

PLMK

Ron

Hello Ron,

Sure, post everything you like on your website. The more collectors know about this the better!

Jeroen

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Here is a marble that I was told was reheated, and it has a remanufactured pontil. It also has some lines and ripples, but it's hard to tell if the lines are in the glass, or on the surface. Some of them can be slightly felt. Most of the lines are short. The marble is about 2-1/4" in diameter.

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And here is a 2" Onionskin that needs some work, the only question is what kind of work. I thought maybe just enough polishing to make it shine and get rid of most of the scratches and nicks. But that would still leave the large unsightly flaw. So maybe reheating is the answer. None of the other damage is deep, and it looks like there is plenty of clear glass except it looks shallow at the other pontil.

(I may have asked about this a long time ago, but I've still not done anything with the marble.)

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