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Wintergatan Marble Machine Instrument Uses 2000 marbles

March 3rd, 2016,

This amazing mechnical musical instrument by a Swedish musician uses 2,000 "steelie" marbles which, technically, are ball bearings, but most Americans who grew up playing marbles would classify them as marbles.

I wonder whether this device was inspired by the Pipe Dream computer generated animation from ~8 years ago?


Marbles at Morphy Auctions, March 4-5, 2016

February 16th, 2016,

Limestone mables at Morphy AuctionsMany fantastic examples of early handmade marbles are coming up for auction March 4-5, 2016, from Morphy Auctions in Denver, PA. Their online catalog is up with excellent photos and descriptions.

Of particular note to me are the many rare pottery marbles, including mochaware, sponged stoneware, American coiled stonware, and painted yellowware. There is also a rare group of painted limestone marbles (pictured here).

Register now if you want to bid online.


Playing Catch Up

August 10th, 2015,

I have not posted in quite a while so here are a couple of interesting recent items from the marble collecting world.

In July 2015, a Peltier collector paid $5,600 for a single comic picture marble featuring Smitty, a comic strip character popular in the early- and mid-20th century. If you are wondering why anyone would pay that much for a blue 5/8" marble with a smudged looking transfer of a comic strip character who retired in 1973, you don't know Peltheads. Peltier collectors are ravenous and there just aren't enough Pelts to go around. In this case I suspect they fought so hard for this marble due to its extremely rare blue and red color combo. Personally I have no interest in the comic marbles which is another way of saying I am not a true Pelthead, but I sure wish I had a few to trade.

Also in July, a lucky person purchased 765 Akro Agate Sparkler marbles from an estate sale. Sparklers are scarce and rank among the prettiest and most colorful machine-made marbles of the 20th century. You could call them cats-eyes from another dimension. I can't remember this many being found at once. A few gems from this trove have already trickled onto eBay, leaving collectors salivating for the next batch.

In September, Morphy Auctions will host another auction featuring toys, marbles, and dolls. No online catalog yet, but as always expect to see some amazing marbles.


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Marble Trivia

The first mass-produced children's toy was clay marbles by Sam Dyke in Akron, Ohio in the late 1880s. At peak production more than one million a day were made.