Marbles it seems were harder to find than Easter eggs. One small jar of ordinary marbles was spotted (not shown) but it had a big price tag it seemed to me. But then again I have never bought marbles before and I have no clue about what's a good deal for marbles and what is a rip off.
Marbles For Play Only
My sister and I left the antique mall and I promised my friend I would scout for marbles in the next ten stores I would be visiting. Keep in mind that we were searching for marbles for children who were not collectors but simply going to play with them. It was not important at this time to really delve into the hobby of marble collecting with more serious exploration.
Identifying Your Marbles
Now let's assume a marble newbie (cluelesss buyer and collector) such as myself, finds a stash of marbles in an old jar or plastic bag in an antique and collectible store. How do you size up your marbles when you are comparing what appears like similar "ordinary" marbles found in different stores? The answer is you probably will not know what you are buying at this point in time, but you can begin to comparative shop.
Mayonnaise Jar Method Of Marble Buying
I had to think quick on my feet during my first foray into marble hunting so I constructed the Mayonnaise jar measurement system. I used the first small Mayonnaise jar filled with marbles that I noticed in the antique mall as my control jar. When I left the store and went antiquing in the area I compared all future sitings of marbles to that jar.
Don't Pre-Judge Your Marbles
At this point I was only making gross judgements about the quantity and similarities of the marbles I found. I had no idea about the condition, age, rarity etc. I only was able to say something like "oh this guy wants $15.00 for a small Ziploc bag of what looks like ordinary marbles and the other guy down the street has a jar filled with many more marbles for $20.00 for the jar.
Now I enter a group shop and I spot a HUGE (think gallon size) glass jar filled with marbles and the price is nice. I snap a picture of the marbles and send it to my friend. She visits the store the next day, buys the marbles and by Easter her grandchildren have a great easter basket treat.
If the stash of marbles in a decent size jar is under $25.00-30.00 you can pproabaly take the plunge and buy the marbles without too much worry. But you may want to read more on this topic before you go out huntng. For more about identification of marbles see http://www.blocksite.com/marble-reference/online-marble-id-guide/
Learning More About Marble Collecting
But let's say you want to learn more about buying and collecting marbles.
I would suggest you visit the site of the marble maven BOB BLOCK. His site is http://www.blocksite.com/
Bob Block has excellent information on marbles on his site such as :
History of marbles
Kinds of marbles
How marbles are made
Are marbles still being made?
Where I can find marbles?
Can damaged marbles be repaired?
Are marbles being reproduced?
Games played with marbles.
How can I learn more about marble collecting?
We also have a Marble group forum on I Antique Online.com
Jar of marbles show on top was found (and bought) at Burlington Inn Antiques, Burlington, CT
C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café. To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Visit my website, CDianneZweig.com Dianne is a member of: The American Society of Journalists and Authors The Society of Professional Journalists