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Saturday, 26 March 2016

Sepia Saturday 323; 26/03/2016


Marvelous Marbles;


My grand children and I had a lot of fun playing marbles.
Since they have grown out of it the marbles are somewhere in the garden now merely as decorative objects. I am still fascinated by Marbles.

The game of marbles is common all over the world. From archeological discoveries from Babylonian, Roman and Germanic times, we know that the game of marbles is very old. Marbles were found in the tombs of ancient Pharaohs. The oldest marbles originate from the period of about 3000 BC. The famous painting "Children's Games" by Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel,1560 shows children playing with marbles, Anno 1560.


Painting/Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Austria

The size, material and colours of the marbles were very different. However, real marbles were very expensive. In general real marbles were not affordable for the common people so children played with nuts. The production of glass marbles began in 1848 in the Thuringian city of Lauscha. A glassblower, Christoph Simon Karl Greiner invented a tool, called Marble scissors. This tool was actually made to cut glass eyes for stuffed animals but soon they started to produce marbles too. In September of 1848, Christoph Simon Karl Greiner was awarded a license for the exclusive production of artificial agate and gemstone beads.

 Marbles from coloured clay were widespread in Europe. Today, marbles made from glass are most popular.The rules and options of the games with marbles are as numerous as the colors of the marbles. It is mainly played outdoors on firm ground, to make a fist sized hole and the start lines for the game, and the fun may begin.


Please visit 

Sepia Saturday 323 : 26 March 2016  for a game of marbles.


16 comments:

  1. The marbles make for a great decoration. I really enjoy seeing the painting of everyone playing. I like the artist's works.

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    1. Yes, I like marbles, a good collection object! I have seen the painting in Vienna, marvelous.

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  2. Love Brueghel's work! Love looking at marbles too and thinking about how they are manufactured. There's probably a video on You Tube for that.

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    1. The manufacturing must have changed in all this time. I love the ones made from marble. There are fantastic Murano marbles available.

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  3. Interesting history of marbles. I used to play with my kids and when I was a kid.

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    1. It was a fun game, especially when you won a nice marble!

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  4. I was hoping someone would venture into the history of the game and its widespread nature. Thanks for the information - and for the great illustration.

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    1. Alan, Yes it is interesting to find out and venture into the history of anything!

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  5. I agree, very intersting to read about the history of the game. Your first photo reminded me of the only glass marbles I still have, which are used as the playing pieces on a solitaire board.

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  6. How clever to use marbles to decorate your garden! I have a bottle of pink translucent marbles for which I have not figured out any use, but I keep trying because they're so pretty.

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    1. Pink,translucent marbles, delightful. You could use them as table decoration; place the marbles into a pretty glass dish, add some water and tuck some matching heads of flowers in between. Pink roses or whatever you like and grow in your garden.

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  7. Those marbles are too pretty to be kept in a bag aren't they? I used to have a poster of the painting on my wall - so much detail to pore over.

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    1. It would be great in a children's room, as you say, so much detail. Marbles can be anywhere at home. If you display some pretty ones on the coffee table, watch people, they can not resist touching them.

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  8. Thank you for that little bit of marble history. I had no idea how glass marbles came about.

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  9. Marbles in the garden -- love that! I have seen lots of gardens featuring colorful glass objects so why not marbles.

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