Unusual

Group of Unusual marbles
These are ANY marbles that are very uncommon or rarely seen varieties that do not easily fit in any commonly known category.

Sometimes marbles were made by hand in other countries other than Germany as well, such as China, and those were not mass produced and exported as the German handmades were and are very rare.   Examples of rare types thought to be of Chinese origin include:

  • Birdcage Marbles (7 known examples) are characterized by an large inner colored air bubble surrounded by a cage of threads that’s drawn together below the inner bubble with a clear donut bubble then the cage expands slightly again before coming together at the single pontil at the bottom – giving the appearance of an antique birdcage with the colored bubble representing the bird. Birdcage are always found about the same size – approximately 1-5/8” and are always single pontil. It is thought that these may have all been made by a single glass artist that was expressing his superior expertise in glass work and the inclusion of controlled bubbles. EXTYREMELY RARE.
  • Lightning Strike Marbles (approximately 36 known examples) that have two sides of zig zag “lightning strikes” of color applied to an opalescent white base that has an orangish iridescent glow when light passes through it. Most commonly there will be 2 zig zagging lightning strikes of a single color but different color on each side.  Sometimes there will be 2 or 3 colors that comprises the zig zag lightning strikes.  Lightning Strike Marbles are always found approximately the same size, 1-5/8”.  VERY RARE.
  • Single pontil Fern Banded Opaques (unknown quantity) are a single pontil marble with applied dots of color was drawn together creating a fern-like pattern.
  • Looped Drizzle Banded Opaques (unknown quantity) are a rare type of banded opaque marble where a single color was applied and manipulated by hand as a continuous zig-zag and/or spiral pattern onto the cane of white opaque glass prior to the marble being manipulated and cut from the cane, resulting in loops at the pontils). The two Banded Opaque varieties mentioned above are typically found as large marbles, but they can vary somewhat in size from about 1-1/4” to 2”.

Pontil types on Chinese marbles were distinctively different from German handmade pontils.  Lightning Strikes and Fern Banded Opaques have a flattened somewhat raised ground pontil, and Birdcage Marbles have a round melted button type pontil similar to a Navarre.  Pontils of the Looped Drizzle Banded  Opaques most closely resemble the rough pontils of German handmade marbles.

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