Marble enthusiasts traveled from as far away as Chicago and Indianapolis to attend Morphy’s Auction in November 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; 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, or $70 per marble.
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.