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Hand Gathered Marbles

Hand gathered style marbles occur at different timelines in glass marble making history. The identification as to which manufacturer a given specimen was made can most readily be determined by the single pontil mark where the marble was detached from the molten gob of glass that was gathered utilizing a steel punty rod. There are three basic types.

1) Ground, or 'faceted' pontil, as found in the earliest Grenier brand.

2) Melted pontil, as found in the patented process by J.H. Leighton who was involved with multiple businesses that produced this type, including The Navarre Glass Marble & Specialty Co. that produced the highest volume, leading these melted pontil types to be more commonly referred to as 'Navarre'. Credit to the American Toy Marble Museum and their website Glossary that includes extensive historical records that provides key pieces to the melted pontil type puzzle.

3) Creased pontil, the true 'Transitional' type, as found in the M.F. Christensen brand, as well as the earliest Akro Agate, Christensen Agate and Peltier Glass brands that followed, before their fully automated process began. This transitional type expedited the production process by replacing the previous method of hand rolling, with a machine roller devise which also eliminated the additional step of smoothing the pontil mark through grinding or melting. The creased pontil, essentially a cut line, is not always three dimensional or is felt on the surface, though often seen as a line and/or an elongation or squeezing of the marble's spiral pattern from force of the shearing process. A drizzle tail is often found trailing off the opposite end or pole.

As early as 1929, the Yasuda brand utilized this transitional crease pontil hand gathered process, incorporating a wider array of colors than American brands.

Also, in the crease pontil category, there is a Canadian 'Mystery marble' warranting further investigation. They are noted as having Akro-like colors.

In the tradition of the transitional hand gathered style, a contemporary hand gathered brand is being produced by the artist Brian Graham, utilizing the oldest known roller machine by the William J. Miller Co. from the Peltier Glass Co.

The gallery images of these different types unfortunately rarely accurately reveal the pontil marks for clarification, so a rudimentary diagram has been provided to aid in your efforts to determine what you may have. Additional information as it relates to the different brands will be found in the enlarged gallery images.


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