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Marble shows have been under pressure in recent years.  With the advent of the Internet, Ebay and high gas prices it seems harder to justify going to shows in your area.  In addition, not everyone is physically or financially able to attend shows.  The Internet has opened a whole new world for these people to experience the hobby and we are all fortunate for that.  However, I would contend that it is not a substitute for attending a show.  Instead, it’s an added dimension that hopefully enhances the hobby.  

Some people predict the computer age will change the shows permanently.  That may well happen but there are still experiences happening at shows that you just can’t get from a computer screen.  It’s those experiences that we enjoy in one another’s company that make attending the shows more than worthwhile.

I have been attending marble shows for over 25 years: mostly Indiana and Ohio.  At every show you usually hear about the great find that walked in or somebody brings a part of their fabulous collection to share.  There’s the usual smattering of great deals somebody got at an antique show, flea market or auction.  These stories are all fun to listen to and share.  But then there are the stories that Hollywood couldn’t make up if they tried.  This is one of those stories.


Photo of Twin #1                                Photo of Twin #2
                                                                                                                                                                  Photos by Joe Street


The Twins Reunited
(As told by Dale Dehart)

By Mike Adams


The beginning of the twin’s life is lost to history but there are a few things we can be reasonably certain of.  They began life somewhere in Eastern Germany between 1850 and 1880 or there abouts.  You can bet their father was proud of them as they made their way across Europe and onto a boat bound for America.  Most likely they entered the New World through New York.  But not through Ellis Island.  They would come ashore on the docks of New York Harbor.  They probably traveled overland or by rail to the Indiana/ Ohio area.  Upon reaching their destination they took up residence at a general dry goods store that sold all manner of merchandise.  The shopkeeper would have placed them in a front window where the sun’s rays would have made them sparkle.  There is a good chance that the twins then went their separate ways but we cannot be certain of that.  We can be relatively certain they continued to stay in the surrounding area for the next 120 years or so.  

Our story picks back up in 1996 when one of the twins is about to be unceremoniously thrown out into the trash in New Castle, IN.  It seems that, as part of helping to clean out an estate due to the death of an elderly person, the brother-in-law of Dale Dehart noticed one of the twins in the trash pile destined for the dumpster.  The twin would have probably been thrown away too, were it not for Dale being a marble collector.  The timing couldn’t have been better.  Dale was a newly minted collector of all of two months.  But the bug had bitten hard and Dale had made sure everyone he knew was on the look out for marbles.  That’s why his brother-in-law asked the man who owned the estate if he would want to sell the marble.  A neighbor overheard the conversation and told the man to ask $50.00.  $50.00!  For something that was feet from being landfill fodder just minutes before.  Well, being a new collector, Dale wasn’t sure the marble was worth $50.00.  But, fate interceded once again and he bought the twin anyway.

However, this story is about twins, plural.  So what happened to the other twin?  Well, being the new proud owner of a fantastic marble, Dale took it to the Cincinnati, OH Show.  As fortune would have it, a man by the name of Gibbs was also attending that show.  And guess what he owned?   The other twin!  Mr. Gibbs offered Dale a thousand dollars for his twin.  Now a return of 2000% in less than eight months is a handsome return indeed.  And if Dale was in it for the money, he might have been tempted.  But Dale is a marble collector first and decided to turn down the offer.  All that next year Mr. Gibbs called Dale to see if he was willing to sell the twin.  Each time Dale resisted the temptation.

So how were the twins reunited?  Well, the summer before the next Cincy Show, Dale found an onionskin with mica while chasing marbles.  (I have to stop here and say that I would give anything to go looking for marbles with Dale.  Finding these two marbles in the same year, let alone the same lifetime.  Unbelievable!) Maybe a better description of the marble would be a Mica, with a capital “M”, marble with onionskin.  This was a blizzard onionskin that almost made the onionskin disappear under a hurricane of mica.

Lonnie Conyers saw the onionskin w/mica marble first at the show and made a great offer.  Dale decided not to accept it so Lonnie felt that Les Jones might want see the onionskin too.  Les, as we all know was….well…Les.  And being Les, he decided to make Dale an offer he couldn’t refuse because Les had to have that marble.  

Dale thought about the offer and then he remembered the twin that was in Mr. Gibbs’ possession.  The twinkle of an idea was beginning to take shape.  He accepted Les’ offer and then made a bee line for Mr. Gibbs.  If his twin was worth a thousand, then Mr. Gibb’s twin was surely worth the same amount, he reasoned.  Fortunately for Dale, the twins and the marble collecting community at large, Mr. Gibbs agreed to sell the marble.  I say fortunately for the marble collecting community because I first saw the twins at the Columbus, OH Show the following year.  After someone picked up my jaw from the floor and I was able to stand on my own accord, it seemed as though I just couldn’t stop looking at them.  

These marbles are 2 and 3/8 inches.  They are three stage solid cores with an emerald core.  Given the size, there were probably not more than 4 to 5 marbles off that cane and it is possible that these may be the only two.  The rarity is off the charts.


Photo of Twins by George Ring
Photo by George Ring

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