Source: Pinterest

Collector Marbles: More than Just Child’s Play

While most of us associate marbles with the traditional childhood park games – for many, the love of these small spherical balls extends into adult life. Usually formed from glass, clay, plastic, or agate, the most precious marbles in the world fetch far more than you would think. For marble collectors, many rare, vintage and unique marbles are considered not only eclectic investments but art. Some come in a selection of custom-finished rare elements, others feature exquisite patterns and vibrant colours. If you’re in the game for their history, the rarity or the aesthetics of these small spheres, here’s a look at the most mesmerising marbles in the world.

Single Gather Confetti Mica Marble

This vintage marble made between 1850-1870 sold for over A$15,000 in 2009. While a painted confetti pattern is common on cheaper marbles, this marble’s specks are made with mica crystals. In incredible condition for such an antique marble, Morphy’s Auction house described it as the ‘rarest marble to ever enter its auction house.’

Onionskin Blizzard Marble

The top-selling marble at the Morphy Auction in March 2009, is this unique marble which sold for A$13,462. The larger than average marble has a few novel qualities that command its high price. Both the ‘blizzard’ and ‘onionskin’ patterns are revered by collectors. Furthermore, this marble also features four panels of unusual colours with floating pieces of silver mica speckled across the exterior.

Indian Mag Lite Marble

One of the most expensive marbles at Morphy’s $2.6 million spring toy auction in 2008, is this ‘Indian Swirl’ marble which sold for A$12,670. Over 60 bidders battled to declare this unique piece notable for its many contrasting colours – blue, white, yellow, black, and purple. Eventually selling for more than twice its initial estimate, the rare marble is in near perfect condition with a diameter of almost 4cm.

Opaque Lutz Marble

In 2012 Morphy Auctions sold this incredibly rare vintage marble for A$35,500, triple the amount it was expected to fetch. The rare pink marble colour, highly sought after by collectors, is decorated with green lines and the Lutz pattern, another rare feature.

Single Pontil Birdcage Marble

A truly beautiful marble, collectors appreciate its unique craftsmanship. Designed as the industry moved from handmade to automated, the Pontil marble is recognised as a transitional marble. Selling for A$10,742 in May 2012, more than double its estimated value, the rare marble features a controlled bubble inside of a five colour birdcage pattern.

Onionskin Swirl Marble

Considered a piece of art by marble collectors, this onionskin pattern marble sold for a record A$14,254 in 2008 at Morphy Auctions. The hand-blown glass marble is 5.4cm in diameter and features a beautifully crafted range of colourful swirls stretching around the exterior. The popular piece is among the nicest and cleanest designed marbles, hence the price and interest with collectors.

Painted Standing Bear Sulphide Marble

As most vintage marbles are made from agate, granite, or glass, a painted sulphide marble is a rare sight. This near mint example includes a standing bear sulphide figure encased within the marble, a rare feature on its own. While these marbles almost never come up for sale, this one sold for just over A$3,900 in 2009.

You can learn more about interesting collector’s items by reading rare Australian coins and rare Australian stamps.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Love our content?

Share this post with your friends!