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Paper Mache


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I would like to hear about the differences as well. The name Paper Mache implies that was made of paper. Gutta Percha has nothing to do with paper nor is derived from paper. It is made from a plant and considered a latex product. They made golf balls called guttys from it in the late 1800s. It had 100's of uses in the late 1800's to the early 1900s. It is currently used in dentistry I believe. Would love to see some gutta percha marbles and paper mache marbles as well.

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Joe, the marble above is the type referred to by both names. I think the reason they were called papermache is due to the weight... They're much lighter than other marble materials... It was the closest composition that folks were familiar with. These could actually go into the "Marble Myths" thread, because, aside from the weight, there's nothing about them that resembles papermache...

Like so many other "mis-nomers" it came to them by being the first thing that came to mind when trying to describe them...

I don't know of any marbles that were in actual production, made of papermache and I still wonder if the material that these are made of is, in fact, gutta percha??? I was always under the impression that gutta percha was varied shades of black / brown... But, maybe I'm only thinking that because that was a most common color used for old photo cases and early office and medical tools.

OK.... So, I'm supposed to be doing accounting.... But, I figured I try to answer my own questions...

Without going too much farther than Wikipedia.... Here's an article on gutta percha

That article refers us to another article on gutta balata, a similar material that was used for the outer skin of golf balls.... I still can't find an absolute direct reference to colors... But, a quote about gutta percha states

It was also used to make "mourning" jewelry because it was dark in color and could be easily carved into beads or other shapes.

Whereas, a definition for gutta balata says....

hard rubberlike material made by drying the milky juice produced principally by the bully tree (species Manilkara bidentata) of Guyana and the West Indies. The tree is tapped by cutting zigzag gashes in the bark and collecting the latex in cups, to be coagulated in trays. Like gutta-percha, balata is inelastic, tough, leathery, and water-resistant, and it softens when heated. It is often used as a substitute for the more expensive gutta-percha, chiefly in the manufacture of golf balls and machine belting.

In various places, I got the impression that this substance is white... I would think that would lend itself to taking on color???

It's also interesting that it was used to make golf balls.... A round object used in a game....

Things that make one go, "Hmmmmmmmmmm....................................." :huh:

(Could the making of gutta balata skinned golf balls lead us to the origin of these marbles??)

It also seems as if these marbles are not solid... But possibly, the color is wrapped around an inner core?

At one point in the past, there was discussion of these and there was a picture of one with a chunk out of the surface... It seems to me (But, I may be mistaken... PLEASE correct me!!) that there was another, inner substance exposed.... Check out these pictures to see the seams on the construction of this marble...

post-3-1206636755_thumb.jpg post-3-1206636801_thumb.jpg post-3-1206636813_thumb.jpg

Dani... I hope I didn't just totally screw up anything in your article... Please add info!!

PS... Is the marble above the one I sent you?? ..... I think so....

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Here is what I know about Gutty Balls or Gutta Percha Golf Balls. They are Solid all the way through Very hard and have a loud thud when dropped or hit on a table. I have owned many of these find them interesting and the pictures of the the gutta percha marbles/paper mache look nothing like the gutty balls. I have also owned hundreds of gutta percha ambrotype/Daguerreotype cases which are the true color of gutta percha. It is mostly a reddish brown. I am wondering if these are actually made of gutta percha. If they are hollow maybe so but if they are solid it would be fairly heavy.

I am confused about the name papermache being what people could compare it too. Is that back at the time they were made or modern times? Because back when gutty balls where made people were very familiar with gutta percha knew exactly what it was. I have lots of questions and I am sorry to be so misinformed. I would love to see what the inside of a papermache marble looked like.

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Joe, I can only add the papermache info as I've seen it... To understand it, I need to set a stage....

When I first started collecting marbles, there were no books on collecting... There had been some articles in antiques magazines, but these mostly focused on (handmade) swirls and sulphides... Those were really the only marbles that were considered collectible by the broad "Antique Market."

Paul Baumann's first book was published in 1970... Mel Morrison & Carl Terison's book preceeded that by a short time.... *Maybe* a year?? (I can't lay hands on my copy... But, I'm pretty sure it doesn't have a publishing date) Mel told me, himself, that they threw the book together and rushed it to publish because they had heard that another book was on the way and they wanted to be first... When I visited him (He had a shop in Maine) he only had a couple of marbles left... They were "off an' runnin'" to get out the first book on perfume bottles!! ... I don't know, but I don't recall, ever seeing that book published.

So.... We were really collecting in the dark... I remember buying 2 jars of marbles at an auction and a comic charactor "Emma" was in it.... I had NO idea what the heck that was (but, I paid the 4 bucks for the jars, cuz I thought it was cool!!!) .... Now, I know, that at this same time, there must have been folks out there who knew about the comics... They had the boxes... They were aware of Peltier production...

But, amongst the group of people that I routinely ran across at antique shows and sales, if they were aware, the question didn't come up... There was no communication beyond that... No marble shows, no newsletters, no clubs... Just the folks that you knew you had to beat, in order to buy what you wanted... Then, we often got together and compared "scores."

When Paul's first book came out, it was such a revelation!!! We learned SO much!!! It was the Bible!!

Now that we look back on it, it's just a teeny crack in the door of knowledge... And no... I don't believe there is a word about the marbles we are discussing in it....

So, back on topic... At some point during the late sixties or early to mid seventies, I went to an antiques show and bought 5 of these marbles... Like the comic, when I bought her, I had no idea what they were.... But, they were with marbles and appeared to be marbles.... So, I bought 'em...

It was a long time before I ever ran across another, or anyone who had one... I'm not sure what I might have called them... I know I do remember thinking that they might be the "True" Indians.... Here's my theory... And, I still wonder if it has any credibility...

During the 1960's - 70's we had the beginning of the "Indian Import" stuff.... In that pile of "Hippy Goods" there were bracelets and pieces of jewelry made from a plastic-like substance, with beads and teeny mirrors impressed into it... It was the closest substance I had ever seen to these marbles...

There were black glass marbles floating around, that were called Indians... The story was, they were from India... That always seemed odd to me, because they were more common that banded opagues and looked so similar to banded opaques, yet there was no story about THOSE being from India.... Banded Opaques seemed so similar to the clam broths... Even to the point of having one that is black based.... Those were pretty well documented as being German.... But.... Here we have these 5 marbles that look.... Kinda / sorta.... along the same lines as the glass Indians... AND, they are made out of a material that is incredibly similar to this stuff in the India Import stores!!!

More things that make you go, "Hmmmmmmmmm............................" :huh:

I don't know what the Indian jewelry is made of... I don't know what the marbles are made of....

At some point in time, I heard someone mention "Papermache" marbles.... Thinking, "What the heck??"

I don't recall when or where... But, I learned that that's what those 5 marbles were being called....

Fairly recently, someone brought up "Gutta Percha." ..... I still wondered about the color (the color is NOT painted on... It is the substance itself) But, it made so much more sense than papermache!!!

It would be cool to run into someone, somewhere, who may have played with these as a kid and knows a name for them.... But, to my knowledge... That hasn't happened.

That's the best I can do for ya, Joe!!!

If ANYBODY has other info, PLEASE add it!!!

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I hope that all will forgive me for beating a dead horse so to speak but I am really interested in these papermache or gutta percha marbles. I really want to own one as well. Here is a link to a very good website that shows pictures and tells a history of the gutty golf ball. Link to gutty website Also you can see in some of the pictures that the paint or outlayer is coming off of many of these showing what I consider to the true color of gutta percha.

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in our research we actually cut one in half. ( no it wasn't that hard to sacrifice one for info) I'm not sure who ever named them papermache... probably for lack of a better name, or better knowledge maybe. but the ones we're all looking at here are made of the gutta percha. I'll mail you off the article this week Steph. :D

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Guest browse4antiques

For use in products, I believe gutta percha was mixed with rubber latex in varying amounts resulting in a variety of texture and resilience, depending on the amount mixed in. ... Roger

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hope that all will forgive me for beating a dead horse so to speak but I am really interested in these papermache or gutta percha marbles. I really want to own one as well.

.There have been a few this year listed on the bay . Alan had them , went for ?/ $300 to $400 ?? I think , all I did was save the pictures . Mike

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