“The essential is to excite the spectators. If that means playing Hamlet on a flying trapeze or in an aquarium, you do it. ” Orson Welles
Welcome to Marble Kingdom. A nation founded on the principle of play and investigation. A nation surrounded by mountains of marbles, from Cat’s Eyes to Butterfly Boulders, from Half-Pint to Boulders, this land is open to your imagination. Nothing is contravened. Everything is open. The only one rule is to enjoy and laugh. A rule imposed by the bastion of Marble Kingdom, so be warned, ears are everywhere and punishments are cruel.
Alley or real – made of marble or alabaster (alley is short for alabaster), streaked with wavy or other patterns with exotic names like corkscrew, spiral, snake, ribbon, onyx, swirl, bumblebee, butterfly, and…
An orange and white toothpaste marble
Toothpaste – Also known as “Plainsies” in Canada. Wavy streaks usually with red, blue, black, white, orange.
Turtle – wavy streaks containing green and yellow
Ade – strands of opaque white and color, making lemon-ade, lime-ade, orange-ade, etc.
Oxblood - a streaky patch resembling blood
Oilie or Oily - Opaque with a rainbow, iridescent finish
Pearls – Opaque with single color with “mother of pearl” finish
Lutz - a type of swirl, taken from the skating term
Onionskin – swirled and layered like an onion
Clambroth – equally spaced opaque lines on a usually opaque base
Cat’s Eye or catseye – central eye-shaped colored inserts or cores (injected inside the marble)
Devil’s Eye – red with yellow eye
Beachball – three colors and six vanes
Aggie - made of agate (aggie is short for agate) or glass resembling agate, with various patterns like in the alley
Bumblebee – mostly all yellow with two black strips on each side.
China – glazed porcelain, with various patterns like in the alley
Plaster - a form of china that is unglazed
Commie or common - made of clay
Bennington - clay fired in a kiln with salt glaze
Crock – made from crockery (earthenware) clay
Croton alley or Jasper - glazed and unglazed china marbled with blue
Crystal or clearie or purie - any clear colored glass – including “opals,” “glimmers,” “bloods,” “rubies,” etc. These can have any number of descriptive names such as “deep blue sea”, “blue moon”, “green ghost”, “brass bottle”.
Princess - a tinted crystal
Galaxy – lots of dots inserted like a sky of stars
Mica – glassy to translucent with streaks or patches of mica, ranging from clear to misty
Steely – made of steel; a true steely was made from a flat piece of steel folded into a sphere and shows a cross where the corners all come together. Without the cross, it’s just a ball bearing.
Sulphide – Usually, a large (1.25 to 3 inch) clear glass sphere with an small statuette or figure inside. Most common are domesticated animals such as dogs, cats, cows, etc.; then wild animals; human figures are scarce; inanimate objects such as a train or pocket watch are very rare and command high prices. The interior figures are made of white clay or kaolin, and appear a silvery color due to light refraction. A sulphide in a colored-glass sphere, or with a painted figure inside, is also very rare and brings a high price. Like other types of antique marbles, sulphides have been reproduced and faked in large quantities.
Tiger- Clear with orange/ yellow stripes