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Marble makers
Instructions Page


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On this page I will try to show how you can tell an old handmade marble from a new one. Cane made new marbles are the more difficult type to distinquish from old marbles because they are made in exactly the same way. Torch made marbles are easyer to distinquish from old cane made marbles but are harder to distinquish from transition and early machine made The marble shown below is a new cane made marble by C. Robinson



The marble above is a new torch made marble by C. Robinson

Even harder to distinquish between old and new are new hand gathered machine assisted marbles like the Road and Tunnel slag series I did in 1994.

In general, the best way to be able to tell between old and new marbles is to look at alot of both. Marble shows are held all across the country and afford the best opportunity to see all kinds of marbles. Being able to observe marbles from all angles is the best way to understand how, when, and why they were made.

There are four main catagories we can use to distinquish old and newer marbles. 1. Color 2. Style 3. Pontils or cut marks 4. Published record

In this area I'll include a list of all the material necessary to perform the tasks I'm describing on this page.

Color; Modern art glass supply catalogs have hundreds of colors and transparentses. Any old marble color probably exists in somebodys wharehouse. The slight differences in color are best observed by placeing old and new marble next to each other to distinquish between them.

Style;Most cane made marbles have 2 poles with color running from pole to pole. Even micas and pastels have faint patterns that twist from pole to pole because they were made by twisting the marble off the end of a heated marble cane. By looking at alot of marbles you can see different style groups and the colors and combination associated with them. One group of indians has broader lines running straight from pole to pole without a twist. Swirls, clambroths and lutz ribbons tend to have very symetrical tight twists to their patterns indicating alot of control and skill in their making. Look also for left and right handed twists. Most hand made marbles are right haned made by righthanded makers. A few old ones and all that I make are left handed.

Pontils or cut marks;

Published record;

In this area I'll define any specialized vocabulary that it's helpful to know in order to perform the tasks described on this page.


Old swirl right hand


New onionskin left handed