Badger Marble Club Show Summary July 22, 2001
The 2001 BMC Show is history. We set a record for show table and rooms, but fell short of any records for room trading. While many fine marbles were bought, sold and traded, few transactions involved the public during the room trading. Twenty-eight rooms were open and 29 tables were sold to show participants.
The Sunday show was about the same as each of the previous years. 100 to 125 through the door. Many small collections were brought in for appraisals and some were purchased. Always good to see lots of children, and we had a bunch. For most, one marble wasn't much different than another. Fathers and grandparents were relating some memories of their marble exploits as children. More than just a few were given to the tykes. While marbles were bought and sold, there were quite a few lookers. They just wanted to see what all the 'marble hype' is all about.
Marble shows have another element that lures participants. It is the friendship and other social interactions that take place. The BMC show has reached that level. Rooms begin to fill as early as Wednesday, while most arrive on Thursday or Friday. Lots of marble stories rattle around the rooms and friendships are refreshed. There is a fine restaurant at the hotel, albeit slow at times. Small groups of marble dealers, collectors, and friends share more stories and assess the recent months of marble trading and selling.
All in all, there were some fine marbles and transactions. Peltiers (NLR's, Millers) are still very desirable and commanding good prices; original boxes high on the collecting list; some fine Akro corks were floating around; small handmade swirls are cool; large swirls are still getting attention and eBay was being discussed in many group sessions. There is no doubt that it is one of the major determiners of the current 'marble economy'.
Each year it has been evident that contemporary marbles are becoming a larger and larger percentage of the overall hobby. Five contemporary makers were in the show, with some very original and beautiful marbles. Prices of these gems range from $5 to $75 and up with no end to the diversity and style. The next generation of marble collectors will include a large percentage dedicated to new marbles. For a preview of contemporaries, check out BMC member Chuck Pound's site at getsirius.com.
BMC members do their own assessment of success and with the solicitation of opinions of other participants discuss the possibilities of another show. Both the Windy City Show (Chicago) and Midwest Show (Minneapolis) were not held this year, so it seemed to BMC members that July would be a good date. Consensus among participants . . . return to the fall (Oct) date. It was very warm in July and some of the rooms were a little uncomfortable. We also concluded that it was very difficult to get the public to understand "room trading". Not to be discouraged, the BMC will probably move the show back to the fall date. Room trading (one day) will take place on Friday and the show will be on Saturday giving participants more time to travel home.
We would hate to be added to the list of 'dead shows', so be advised, the BMC will do everything possible to promote the new date and format. This was an excellent show, but members of the BMC will continue to 'upgrade' wherever possible. If you have any suggestions, or would like to become a member of BMC, write Bill Bass (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jim Stephenson (email@example.com). Return to this site periodically to check marble news and details of our next show.