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Buffed Handmade Marbles

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Folks:

Can anyone tell me the best way to tell if a handmade has been buffed as opposed to polished and the benefit of doing one instead of the other.

Thanks,

Bill

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u really need a loop or magnifying glass to see swirls on the surface or small pits which will reveal traces of white buffing compound

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A good loop will show the distinct ridges on handmades are usually smoothed out even with a buffing.(just another way to say polished if you ask me). Peace,Galen

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Buffing is done with light buffing compound or with 10,000-40,000 grit so it can only remove light haze but not any significant amount of glass. The pontils are untouched, the marble is the original out-of-round, and the original creases and surface waves are still there.

When collectors say a marble is polished, they usually mean it has been through sphere grinding then polished. The pontil marks were removed. The pontils can be restored to some extent, but they never look like the original pontils. They simply rough up the marble where the pontils used to be.

Not to hard to tell the difference on a handmade. Much more difficult for machine made marbles.

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Buffing is done with light buffing compound or with 10,000-40,000 grit so it can only remove light haze but not any significant amount of glass. The pontils are untouched, the marble is the original out-of-round, and the original creases and surface waves are still there.

When collectors say a marble is polished, they usually mean it has been through sphere grinding then polished. The pontil marks were removed. The pontils can be restored to some extent, but they never look like the original pontils. They simply rough up the marble where the pontils used to be.

Not to hard to tell the difference on a handmade. Much more difficult for machine made marbles.

Sometimes there's a dead giveaway when only one or two parts of the marble are exceptionally wet; any type with a patina that isn't uniform I always view with a jaundiced eye. But your best friend is definitely a 10 or 20X loupe.

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Guest FeelingMarbleous
But your best friend is definitely a 10 or 20X loupe.

I think a loupe is a must have for many things in the antique world....

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I have conserved quite a few hand mades that had no pontil marks as purchased I have also done some for a few people. Here is a large marble that I just did, many times I will leave some of the dings so I do not intrude into the ends. The person I did this marble for was thrilled and I feel that this marble is far more desirable than prior to my work on it.

I use many techniques in my conservation work and depending on what needs to be done I rarely cut into the end color. This marble lost less than 1/16 inch finished size 53.25mm or just slightly over 2 inches

All my best .. Danny

I agree with the loupe being a must.

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Folks:

Are their any active polisher's and/or marble restorer's?

Haven't addressed this in years and was interested to know if this area has developed into a thriving business or not. I am most interested in hand made's, I have never taken an interest in polished machine made marbles.

Thanks,

Bill

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I don't know about thriving business or not, but as far as I know Danny (lopaki, above) is still working in the field, as is Leroy, who posts around here sometime. He is not at all dead, as he was recently rumored to be. You can probably find that thread easily since it was pretty recent.

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For aesthics, and clarity, you really dont need to polish under 3000. Only when you desire to see the micro structure of the glass would you consider going lower on the grit.

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Leroy is certainly not dead as he just polished these for us. First time we polished anything; they look great...we can really enjoy them now. We do not care if they are the dreaded "polished marble". Other ways I try to see if a marble is polished...it is more oblong than round, bec the middle has been polished down in an attempt to leave the pontil intact, if any damage is noted, are the ends rounded vs sharp..looks like a little 1/2 moon, check the pontil carefully..when someone tries to recreate an old pontil, it does not tuen out very well in my opinion.....oh, and I smell them-very strange I know but I was "told" that they can smell like oil-guess some folks use this in the repair process. You can pick me out in a crowd...I am the one sniffing the marbles!

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Sorry these pix are so small....not sure you can really see a big difference. I find when I enlarge a pix I take, then resize it to fit...it comes out very small. The group shot was not enlarged by my camera-that's why it is bigger. Anyway, you get the idea!

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