Leighton (Grenier) & Navarre Types are hand-gathered single-pontil transitionals that are commonly grouped together as “transitionals”, but in actuality are completely different from one another, and are from different eras and even different continents!
Both types will display a swirling “9” shaped pattern similar to a MFC Slag but with the Leighton (Grenier) having a classic faceted German-style pontil, and the Navarre having the patented round melted-style pontil at the opposite pole.
Silas Genier & his family made the first hand-gathered swirls with faceted pontils early in the glass marble era (circa 1850-1860) in Thurengen, Germany that collectors refer to (incorrectly) as “Leightons.” They should be called “Greniers.” Many of these contain bright colors such as white, egg yolk, blue, oxblood, and green in typically a transparent colored glass or clear base glass. Pontils on the Greniers are always faceted, as is true for all pre-1880 German handmade marbles.
James Henry Leighton was a US marble maker in the late 1880’s who patented the round melted pontil process. Collectors call his marbles “Navarres,” named after the area he worked in most – Navarre, Ohio. He also worked in other cities in and around Ohio with Barberton, Ohio being another major production city for the melted pontil Navarre types. These types typically have a swirly white appearance on a purple, brown or green base. The tell-tale trademark of a Navarre is the circular melted pontil. Navarres are typically darker in appearance than the colorful Grenier’s, however I have even seen a rare red one with a reliable vintage history. Navarres are commonly mistaken as MF Christensen Slags that have a similar design and pattern, but with a cut mark at the pontil end instead of a round melted pontil. RARE types of Navarres are the “Horizontal Swirls” which spin repeatedly with the white spiraling around & around the marble in a tight almost horizontal fashion.
In summary, the hand-gathered faceted single pontil marbles people mistakenly refer to as “Leightons” in actuality were not made by Mr. Leighton of Ohio, they are actually early German marbles that were made by Grenier.
Sizes of both types typically range from about 5/8″ to over 1-1/2″ with value increasing exponentially with size.