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Four-paneled controlled mica onionskin marble, est. $2,000-$3,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Morphy’s May 26 Marbles sale includes rare ‘miniature artworks’

Four-paneled controlled mica onionskin marble, est. $2,000-$3,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Four-paneled controlled mica onionskin marble, est. $2,000-$3,000. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, Pa. – Some of the finest handmade and machine-made vintage marbles ever to be offered at auction will be available to bidders on May 26 at Morphy’s gallery in Lancaster County, Pa. “They are miniature works of art,” said Morphy’s CEO, Dan Morphy, referring to the contents of the 783-lot specialty sale. Internet live bidding will be available through www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Manufacturers represented in the sale include such coveted names as Christensen Agate, Akro Agate and Peltier. The selection includes boxed sets as well as single marbles.

One of the auction’s special highlights is an Akro Agate Kullerbubbel Gum marble set, a display that was designed to offer children a stick of gum and one agate marble for a penny. The lucky person who purchased the last stick of gum from the display box would receive the only included corkscrew “shooter” as a bonus. The boxed set with 120 marbles, 120 sticks of gum and shooter is expected to make $3,000-$5,000.

Christensen singles include three teardrop guineas. Also among the top lots by Christensen are a rare cobalt with orange and white marble, est. $1,000-$2,000; a hard-to-find red devil that is estimated at $1,500-$2,500; and a blue devil with electric-yellow stripes, similarly estimated at $1,500-$2,500. The latter two examples are pictured in all four editions of Everett Grist’s “Big Book of Marbles.” A third red devil, with yellow striping and spotting is also estimated at $1,500-$2,500.

Onionskins are led by a rare 4-panel controlled mica with faceted pontil. It has two opposing panels of almost solid red and two other opposing panels of turquoise and white with blizzard mica. Extremely hard to find in this configuration, the 1 1/8 in. marble could realize an auction price of $2,000-$3,000.

A circa-1870 marble made of gutta percha (papier mache) displays a color palette of mustard yellow, oxblood red, tan, blue and gold on a black base. Together, the colors create an iris effect. An early, seldom-encountered marble, it is in 9.5 condition and estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

A rarity known as a “birdcage” marble because of the distinctive cage-like shape its latticino forms within the glass boasts a medley of five colors. “In fact, we have never seen this many colors in a birdcage marble,” said Morphy’s marbles specialist Brian Estepp. The condition is rated 9.7 and it is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

Many wonderful sulphide marbles, with figures suspended in the glass, are included in the sale, including a standing Jester, Kneeling/Praying Angel and a wonderful Painted Dog. The well-centered figure of a spotted canine with brown eyes and nose stands on a green “grass” base. It could bring $2,500-$3,500 on auction day.

Morphy’s Marble auction will take place on Saturday, May 26, 2012, commencing at 9 a.m. For additional information on any lot in the auction, call Morphy’s at 717-335-3435 or e-mail serena@morphyauctions.com.

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.morphyauctions.com.

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View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.


ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE


Four-paneled controlled mica onionskin marble, est. $2,000-$3,000. Morphy Auctions image.
 

Four-paneled controlled mica onionskin marble, est. $2,000-$3,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Five-color single-pontil birdcage marble, est. $3,000-$5,000. Morphy Auctions image.
 

Five-color single-pontil birdcage marble, est. $3,000-$5,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Circa-1870 gutta percha marble with multiple colors creating an ‘iris’ effect, est. $3,000-$5,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Circa-1870 gutta percha marble with multiple colors creating an ‘iris’ effect, est. $3,000-$5,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Painted Dog sulphide marble, est. $2,500-$3,500. Morphy Auctions image.

Painted Dog sulphide marble, est. $2,500-$3,500. Morphy Auctions image.

Christensen Agate cyclone guinea marble with ‘submarine’ effect, est. $700-$1,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Christensen Agate cyclone guinea marble with ‘submarine’ effect, est. $700-$1,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Akro Agate Kullerbubbel gum and marble display set, est. $3,000-$5,000. Morphy Auctions image.

Akro Agate Kullerbubbel gum and marble display set, est. $3,000-$5,000. Morphy Auctions image.