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English Colors? (question About Jonmp's Mibs)


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I was hoping someone would comment on the colors on Jonmp's mibs here. Now the thread has wound down so gracefully, I don't want to hijack it. And maybe the topic needs its own thread anyway.

The question is, are his mibs "English colors"? Some but not all? some borderline?

Here's a smaller copy of his first pic for quick reference.



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There's been a lot of speculation about "English Colors." I'm not really "up" on the newest findings... At one time, it was thought that they were made in England... I think that may have been because they seemed to be found there most often. I don't believe there was ever any evidence found to back it up... If anything, there's probably been evidence found to prove them German... I seem to remember a question posted that maybe they were exported to England for some reason and that's why so many seem to be there?? Maybe there was someone in England who specifically ordered them?? Maybe they were later colors, exported to England, but not the US, because our machine made industry was in gear and the US importation of marbles was slowing down??

English colors refers to certain marbles that have brighter than usual colors. The 2 that stand out to me the most in this group are these....


Most of the others look as though they may also be considered "English." But, I'm not sure I'd pick them out of a lot if they stood on their own...

(OK, that sounds weird.... If they stood on their own as handmade marbles in a lot of machine mades, clays, chinas or Benningtons!! LOL)

I think it's the lighter blue and lime green that make them jump out...(Also, that electric red / orange!!)

Orange and yellow can be found on almost all marbles, but when you add the different green & blue, they really pop!! ...

Yep, I think a few, if not most, of these could be called "English."

(Ooops, 'sorry to contradict you Alan... I was typing when you posted...)

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Guest browse4antiques

There was a question about "english" colors on another board. My post there said I believe early German marbles had primarily 2 opaque colors - white and yellow. Other colors are usually found backed on layers of white or yellow because they are transparent. So certain marble configurations were used - such as onionskin, that involves a backing layer. Early red solid core would actually be a white base, with transparent red on top, etc. Then probably about 1900, they started to use brighter colors that included opaques of every color, in particular opaque red, orange, and orange-red. Then they could make different formats, such as joseph coat, orange or red core latticinios, etc, without backing layers. Around the same time, the Solitaire game became popular, and in England, these sets were put together with mostly the bright colored German marbles, and marketed out of England in boxes marked "made in England". So initially, the marbles became know by their "english colors". The "english" marbles can be either very bright colors, or a slightly pastel, but they are always distinct because of the opaque colors used - and almost every one will have some bright red or bright orange-red in it. I find that the later ("english") examples tend to have two snipped off pontils, whereas the older ones will have one cup-formed pontil, and one that is either snipped off or faceted. (of course there are exceptions to all this). I think all the marbles at the top of this thread are "english". Here's a pic of some "english" color examples. ... Roger


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That makes a lot of sense!!!

After writing my own post, reading Alan's, then going back to look... I realized that the blue & green were transparent over opaque.... Not the opaque green and blue that I was actually referring to...

Sooooo, these may be "Tweeners." They have the look, but they aren't really "classic."

Another thing I've noticed that seems to be far more "usual" in the "English" marbles, is the very plain solid core (most often white) ... That doesn't show up often in other swirls...

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Neat. Thanks everyone!

Sue, that's the feeling I was getting from Jonmp's mibs. Like they might be on the way to being English style but without the full English colors.

That and they fit with each other, as if they were all sorta borderline but some leaning over the border and some not quite to it.

(did that make sense?! :huh:)

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