Alternative Name(s): Alleys

Set of glass 'shart shooter' marbles in plastic string bag. Purchased in Adelaide in 1981.

Marbles is an ancient game. Stone marbles have been found which date from 4000BC. The game can be found throughout the world, and there is a commonality in the way it is played which transcends cultural differences. It is one of the most familiar children's games in Australia. Marbles as playthings were first made from stone and clay, and later from glass which allowed colour to be added. This bag of marbles is typical of contemporary, mass-produced marbles manufactured overseas and imported into Australia in the latter half of the 20th century. Marbles of this design are common the world over. The majority of the marbles in the bag are Cat's Eyes, a name that is also widespread.

Part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection, which is unique in Australia, documenting contemporary children's folklore across Australia and in other countries reaching back to the 1870s. The Collection has a strong component of research material relating to Victoria.

Physical Description

Forty-five glass marbles in original packaging - a blue plastic mesh bag, tied in a knot at both ends, with oval-shaped label at one end. There are forty-four small marbles and one larger shooter. The label has information about the brand-name, the distributor and the number of marbles in the bag. There are five small marbles missing. The label is cardboard, white on front, brown card on back, with pink printing across the centre and white printing on brown timber-patterned background above and below. The label has creases in several places.

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