Jump to content

Contemporary Hand Cut Agates?


Recommended Posts

I have heard online and at shows that there is/was somebody who hand-cuts agates so that they look just like the German ones, nicely faceted. I happen to have a gorgeous 3/4" one that is wet mint and heavily faceted over the entire surface. I won it at a Zaboo eBay auction and have always gotten a sense this one was just too wet and faceted to be vintage, a feeling that increased when I heard somebody was hand-cutting and polishing contemporary ones. Of course not having any other truly wet ones, it could just be my inexperience.

Does anyone know who is making them this way today, and do you have any examples?

Personally I don't care whether this one is vintage or not because it's clearly hand-cut and a piece of art, but I am very curious to know and would want to buy more of this caliber, vintage or contemporary.

post-1926-0-14788000-1445624332_thumb.jp

post-1926-0-17267200-1445624376_thumb.jp

post-1926-0-12366600-1445624442_thumb.jp

Link to post
Share on other sites

High end contemporary agate makers see facets as imperfections. They cut agates with precision and without flaws. Someone might try to imitate antique faceting, but my opinion is that would be way too much effort for not much gain. It is time consuming and requires high level craftsmanship. Your marble looks to be a genuine antique agate. I need to hear from contemporary agate artisans differently to change my opinion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Steph = It rolls well enough. You can definitely feel the facets everywhere with your thumbnail.

@machinemades = I assumed the contemporary agate artist I heard about was intentionally cutting them in the traditional way, hand grinding them down, rather than using a sphere machine. In other words, he wanted those facets to show, but again this is just me overhearing rumors.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Contemporary agate artists do cut by hand, not by a machine. Still they get rid of all imperfections to make the agate look perfect rather than with facets. Again, imitating antique faceting might prove way too much effort for not much gain. Anything is possible though.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hand cut and ground agate marbles are actually being made in several countries. There are a few folks making them in the good ol USA. It is a very common lapidary project when learning to use the equipment. They are also still dying Agates. The colors and pattern on that one suggest older to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Wanted to update this thread with an agate I had put in the "machine made" corner because I couldn't detect any facets with my naked eye. Recently I gave it another look with a 14x loupe and the facets were clearly visible over the entire surface. Whoever made this was a very skilled craftsman. Never again will I be without a loupe when purchasing agates!

 

unfactedish.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting ... so that raises a question though .... does that definitely mean not machinemade?  

Can we say for sure that's from a very skilled craftsperson?  or might we see more facets under high magnification even for those which were strictly machinemade?  (stumbling over the word here since I know that a machine is involved in handfaceting also)

 

keeperthread

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have several hand-cut agates by a contemporary artist, who says, at least, that he makes them for play.  Or so that they could be used for play.  I forget his name (I'm old) but I can find out tonight at home (I kept his card) and let you know.  He occasionally sells on ebay.  A couple of Botswana agates I've gotten from him:

 

Agate also.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Aren't the black dyed ones associated with older agates? Otherwise I was thinking it was possible in later years they could have roughly hand-ground them then threw them into a grinding machine but I assume they'd have a very unique look then with no side-by-side facets but just facets that dip in and out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2015 at 11:21 AM, bumblebee said:

I have heard online and at shows that there is/was somebody who hand-cuts agates so that they look just like the German ones, nicely faceted. I happen to have a gorgeous 3/4" one that is wet mint and heavily faceted over the entire surface. I won it at a Zaboo eBay auction and have always gotten a sense this one was just too wet and faceted to be vintage, a feeling that increased when I heard somebody was hand-cutting and polishing contemporary ones. Of course not having any other truly wet ones, it could just be my inexperience.

Does anyone know who is making them this way today, and do you have any examples?

Personally I don't care whether this one is vintage or not because it's clearly hand-cut and a piece of art, but I am very curious to know and would want to buy more of this caliber, vintage or contemporary.

post-1926-0-14788000-1445624332_thumb.jp

post-1926-0-17267200-1445624376_thumb.jp

post-1926-0-12366600-1445624442_thumb.jp

so you wondered if my listing was correct? and that I am not qualified to judge an antique agate? LOL!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 years later...
On 10/23/2015 at 11:21 AM, bumblebee said:

I have heard online and at shows that there is/was somebody who hand-cuts agates so that they look just like the German ones, nicely faceted. I happen to have a gorgeous 3/4" one that is wet mint and heavily faceted over the entire surface. I won it at a Zaboo eBay auction and have always gotten a sense this one was just too wet and faceted to be vintage, a feeling that increased when I heard somebody was hand-cutting and polishing contemporary ones. Of course not having any other truly wet ones, it could just be my inexperience.

Does anyone know who is making them this way today, and do you have any examples?

Personally I don't care whether this one is vintage or not because it's clearly hand-cut and a piece of art, but I am very curious to know and would want to buy more of this caliber, vintage or contemporary.

post-1926-0-14788000-1445624332_thumb.jp

post-1926-0-17267200-1445624376_thumb.jp

post-1926-0-12366600-1445624442_thumb.jp

Unmistakably a hand faceted marble, those ripples are beautiful, I find these way more attractive than the contemporary glass polished sheen, alot of fast work and skill, These guys where compromising their lungs and didn't even know it, just supporting the family or making a few pennies an hour. Must have been very labor intensive piece work, if you didn't produce enough and a good quality you where probably outa there, lookin for another job.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...