Many 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.
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.
Morphy Auctions will be featuring a fantastic assortment of marbles for auction on May 30th and 31st, 2015. The lots include many beautiful and unique handmade marbles, such as the 2 3/8" transparent banded swirl pictured here, which has a pre-auction estimate upper range of US$10,000.
Also included in this auction is a rare American sulphide political novelty marble made for the McKinley presidential campaign by the J.H. Leighton and Co. glass factory using ceramics from the American Marble & Toy Co.
With so many lots in this auction, you might get lucky if you can register now and bid online.
You can also view the digital catalog online but the photos are not as high-resolution as the online catalog. The digital catalog also offers a PDF download option (bottom left icons in the flipbook).