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Blue Glass Target Ball


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Blue glass target ball. Deep blue featuring longitudinal and latitudinal lines as if on a map, which would have provided a grip for when the ball was thrown. Usual roughness at the throat and in virtually mint condition otherwise. Target balls such as this would have possibly been filled with feathers and sawdust, then hurled by a thrower to mimic a bird in flight, similar to the modern era clay pigeons used in skeet shooting. Because they were meant for destruction, they are rare and very few survive today. Collecting Glass Target Balls is a small but slowly growing genre of collectible, especially popular today among well-to-do hunters and gun enthusiasts, but considered more of a novelty attraction among serious bottle collectors. Target balls had a brief but colorful life, bursting on the scene around 1876 before fading out altogether by 1895. During that small window of time these specialized glass balls, that are not all that dissimilar in size and shape to glass Christmas tree ornaments, were thrown or catapulted from spring-loaded traps to be hit by shooters. They’d explode in the air in a feathery, dusty cloud, much as a flying bird would. In fact, target balls were introduced because the natural bird population was declining. Rare in this quality.

PERIOD: Late 19th Century

ORIGIN: Unknown, United States

SIZE: 2 3/4"D

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