Vintage Marbles Make $144,000 at Morphy’s Auction

. December 13, 2010 . 0 Comments

More than 50 enthusiastic in-house bidders and 150 unique online participants took part in Dan Morphy Auctions’ Nov. 6 specialty sale of antique and vintage marbles, and associated ephemera. The 314-lot event grossed $144,000, inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium – a result that CEO Dan Morphy described as “excellent – to my knowledge, the highest gross for a marble sale ever.”

Marble enthusiasts traveled from as far away as Chicago and Indianapolis to attend the fun-filled auction that featured rare handmade, machine-made and transitional marbles from old-time, fresh to the market collections.

Top prices were paid for rare sulphides – clear or colored-glass marbles with a suspended figure of an object, often an animal. A green glass sulphide with a central figure of a beaver surpassed its $4,000-$6,000 estimate to sell for $7,000 (all prices quoted are inclusive of b.p.); while a marble featuring a pair of rabbits seated side by side flew past its $1,200-$1,500 estimate to settle at $4,000.

Dan Morphy had predicted there would be strong competition for the Akro Agate No. 1 boxed set containing 100 tri-color corkscrew marbles, and he was right. A colorful and complete selection containing marbles with as many as five colors in their combinations, it had been expected to fetch $4,000-$6,000, but demand for the rare set boosted it $7,000.

Other auction standouts included a large cranberry Lutz (referring to marbles exhibiting sparkly mica) in 9 out of 10 condition and measuring 1-13/32 inches in diameter, $4,000; and a large ribbon marble with a red and opposing yellow side, enhanced by wide Lutz bands, $4,000. Each of the marbles finished within its particular estimate range.

Morphy said he was excited over the way marbles have held interest in the marketplace. “There’s a stream of new collectors entering the hobby, and those who are already well established continue to seek rare examples that they know are most likely to come from auctions of long-held collections – that’s our specialty.”

Morphy’s will conduct its next auction of antique and vintage marbles in the spring. The date of the sale has not yet been confirmed.

To contact Morphy Auctions, call 717-335-3435 or e-mail dan@morphyauctions.com. Visit Morphy’s online at www.morphyauctions.com

Category: Antiques

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