Pictorial Price Guide Of Marbles

by -170 views

While kids these days have smartphones and video games to keep them decorated and their curiosity at bay, children (and sometimes adults) in days gone past used marbles equally play-things during leap.

The marbles gave children the opportunity to collaborate with one another, and develop life lessons and strategy skills through the ‘business’ of bargaining and trading of marbles.

Over the years, millions of these marbles were manufactured to keep up with the demand. These marbles came in diverse patterns and styles, giving anyone aplenty reason to collect them.

If you tin identify an antique marble, either the originally handmade ones or the machine-produced kinds, you can precisely place a value for purchase or for sales. In this commodity, y’all’ll larn all there is to know nigh identifying an antique marble and how to value them.

Cursory History Of Antique Marbles

As popular as they were, no one knows for a fact who invented marbles or the verbal flow they surfaced. However, attributable to the fact that they were plant in ancient Egyptian tombs, children’south tombs in Nepal, and fifty-fifty Native American Mounds, we know they’ve been around since the early times — possibly around 3000 years ago.

Each civilization used marbles for recreation purposes and even spiritual mediums.

The game of ‘marbles’ is idea to have originated between the 1500s and 1600s when the Dutch would grind valuable stones to grade round shapes. Soon plenty, the Germans began using agate to make marbles.


In the 1800s, a manufactory in Europe began making cheap clay marbles using various ceramic procedures. However, they were plain, brown, lacked eye appeal, and mutual. Considering of their ease of availability, they were called ‘Commies’.

However, glass marbles made their offset appearance in Germany, in the Thuringen region. Made by heating a colored/clear transparent glass cane with a glassblower, these marbles came in various patterns.

How to identify antique marbles

Differentiating The Old From The New

In the 1800s, marbles were being mass-produced and shipped to locations of high demand. As expected, original and antique marbles were limited in number and thus, expensive — some trading as high as $7,000 – $9,000.

Every bit the years advanced, collectors became even more than eager to detect these rare pieces, exploitative dealers began reproducing these items and passing them off equally the real deal. There are various ways by which you tin decide an accurate antique from a fake. They are:

1. The Pontil

The Pontil

The pontil marks are small rough patches contrary each other on the marble. It is commonly gotten when the marble is handmade in a glassblowing process. While the procedure is being carried out, a stick is placed where the marble is supposed to be fastened. Once information technology is formed, the stick is broken off. Thus, leaving the patch.

However, there are exceptions. Some handmade marbles don’t comport these marks and could exist dislocated with the motorcar-made ones.

As such, other factors, asides from the pontil, should be considered before arriving at the determination that a marble is antique or non.

2. Appearance

Antique marbles have more vibrant and bonny colors than their modern counterparts. This is especially attributed to the fact that each ane was individually made with intendance and precise concentration; dissimilar the mod ones that were fabricated in loftier quantities.

Pro Tip:

If it looks like the color seems to accept been practical over the glass base surface, the marble is modernistic.

This might be tough to place if you are a new collector, merely experts can tell the difference apace. You can go the help of one to check the marble for authenticity.

In addition, these antique marbles accept patterns that tell y’all what period they were fabricated in, and sometimes their state of manufacture. You can familiarize yourself with books on the topic to help you with the identification.

Visit marble museums and pay close attention to their collections. This will assist you in clearly recognizing how an antiquarian marble looks.

Another manner to get familiar with the appearance of marbles is to join collectors organizations or attend collectors events. Here, yous get to share knowledge and experience with people of similar interests.

3. Centre Design

Vintage German Handmade Sulphide Sulfide Marble 1.49 Inches
Source:Ebay.com Vintage German Handmade Sulphide Sulfide Marble 1.49 Inches

This is perhaps 1 of the fastest ways to differentiate an original from a faux. Rare and antique designs accept small figures of animals or people at the centre. They are termed ‘sulphides’ and were produced in the 1800s. Normally, they are about 1  ⅟14 inches big.

 4. Quality of the Glass

Since antiquarian marbles were used in games in the old days, the quality of glass that was used was loftier and harder to interruption or crack. Modern-day marbles were produced with lower-quality drinking glass since demand superseded purpose. They were cheaper and can shatter easily.

5. Presence of Flaws


Antique marbles were handmade, and so it was difficult to achieve a perfect design. Asides from the pontil, they also have flaws similar marks that could indicate age and bubbles. These bubbles were fabricated when the glassmaker would blow into a round blob of molten glass.

Types Of Marbles

Antique marbles are plant in a large range of designs and types. Some handmade ancient marbles were fabricated from clay and other minerals like alabaster and limestone.

The German language glass marbles are the most popular types across countries. And, they came in the following styles:

1. The Swirl Styled Marbles

White Latticinio Swirl Shooter
Source: Ebay.com White Latticinio Swirl Shooter

Latticinio Swirls
: Gotten from the Italian word meaning ‘net’, this marble has a network of strands in its core, with a articulate base of operations. They are usually white or yellow. However, you lot can observe rarer ones in yellow and light-green.

Vintage Antique Estate German Marble Swirl Blue White Deep Red Ribbon Swirl with Solid Core Latticino Pontils
Source:Etsy.com Vintage Antique Estate German Marble Swirl Bluish White Deep Red Ribbon Swirl with Solid Cadre Latticino Pontils

Solid Core Swirls
: This marble has a clear base of operations with one or several colored strands of color tightly packed together within the core.

Divided Core Swirls
Divided Core Swirls

Divided Core Swirls
: The Divided Core marble has three to meet multiçoloured bands, with articulate spaces betwixt them.


Ribbon Core Swirls
: This marble has swirls of ribbon around the core.

Coreless Swirls
Source: Ebay.com Coreless Swirls

Coreless Swirls
: The Coreless or Banded swirls practise not accept any band at their core, simply they possess strands or swirls at the outer surface. The base of the marble is ordinarily green, blue, or clear.

two. Banded Opaque Marbles

Source: Ebay.com DEEP Majestic PURPLE BANDED OPAQUE Indian Swirl JOSEPH TWIST High german Marbles

These marbles possessed an opaque and sometimes translucent base with a stretched colored swirl. The rarer versions have multiple swirls and are multi-colored.

3. Indian Marbles

Antique Handmade German Indian Marble Grouping
Source: Ebay.com Antiquarian Handmade German Indian Marble Group

These marbles are opaque with a characteristic blackness base and possess stretched bands of colored swirls on their surface.

iv. Lutz Marbles

Handmade Gold Lutz MarbleThese marbles are classified as the crown jewels of marbles and are heavily sought for their beauty and brilliance. They have golden precious stone-like veins amidst a clear transparent base.

5. Cease of Twenty-four hour period Marbles

German Handmade Transparent Speckled End-Of-Days Marble
Source: Ebay.com German language Handmade Transparent Speckled End-Of-Days Marble

The terminate of twenty-four hour period marbles was created at the end of a workday with leftover glass crumbs. These marbles were given as treats to children in the neighborhood. Because of the dissimilar scrapes used, no 2 marbles were the same.

half dozen. Mica Marble

Handmade Marble Gold Stone ! (Mica Core - Foil Core Rare)
Source: Ebay.com Handmade Marble Gold Stone ! (Mica Core – Foil Core Rare)

Mica marbles are either colored or clear, with no apparent blueprint except mica flecks suspended in the sphere. These flecks sparkle in bright low-cal and have creative value.

7. Onionskin Marble


This marble appears solid-colored but actually has a clear base of operations. The clear core is covered by a clear layer of an opaque color, and so, a thin sheet of clear glass is placed over information technology. The marble layering of drinking glass resembles that of onion skin, hence its name.

8. Sulphides

Antique Handmade German Sulphide Marble
Source: Ebay.com Antiquarian Handmade High german Sulphide Marble

Sulphides have a characteristic characteristic—a figurine at the eye in their clear spheres. The suspended figures are mostly silvery and could be animals, numbers, people, and other objects. Rare sulphides usually have two figures contained in their center.

How to value antique marbles

Factors affecting value of antique marble

The value of any antique marble is largely based on the status. Marbles that are dulled, chipped, crapped, or heavily scratched out are less valuable.

Other factors that could affect the value are:

  • Size: The smaller the size, the less valuable it is. This is because smaller-sized marbles have the tendency to be in rougher weather.
  • Shape: The rounder a marble, the more valuable it is. The shape speaks of the amount of fourth dimension dedicated by the artisan to carving the blob.
  • Styles/Color: Marbles that characteristic many colors with clear distinct lines are often pleasing to the eyes and well-nigh times, valued above their counterparts.
  • Shapes: Marbles with shapes within the glass such equally hearts, animals, or people, are more valued than marbles without any.

To determine the values of marbles, yous can compare them with marble books and guides; or on sites that sell antique objects such every bit eBay and Craigslist. You could also attend conventions and museums to learn more nearly marbles’ value.

Final Thoughts!

One of import thing to note is that antiquarian marbles could have been crafted during the transition menstruation. This menstruum was when marble-making machines were being introduced into the industry. Hence, some antique marbles are automobile-made.

Yet, if y’all have doubts most the piece, it is best to seek professional input.

Source: https://www.txantiquemall.com/antique-marbles-identification-and-value-guide/