My Best Leather Marble Bag

Perrin Leather PouchI do not seek out marble bags or pouches, yet they seem to find me. I acquire them as part of small collections or sometimes people just give them to me. Most of the ones I have are clearly designed for children, either cotton drawstring bags or leather, sometimes with the word “Marbles” printed on them. Almost always their original owner had inked his or her name primitively onto the surface.

Recently someone gave me what I find to be the Platonic ideal of a marble bag or pouch. I estimate its vintage to be 1940s-1950s. I know for certain it was made by Perrin California and was originally designed for storing a camera lens. It has a #6 under the stamped Perrin California logo.

It is made entirely of tan, supple leather, with a soft fabric interior and rough leather drawstrings. It stands about six inches high. The base is wide and flat enough that once you put in a handful of marbles, it stands upright. Unlike every other drawstring pouch I’ve seen, this one closes and opens effortlessly. It is truly an artful work of craftsmanship.

While in this day and at my age I likely won’t be carrying this on my belt everywhere I go, I have nevertheless loaded it with a rich assortment of old mibs just in case some local marble king wants to face me in the ring. Somehow, I imagine, my superior marble bag will give me the edge.

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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.