B.M.P London Gallery Ball

Provenance: Ex: Ralph Finch Collection, American Glass Gallery

Glass balls were used in shooting galleries, as well as traveling circuses and arcades. They are usually smaller than target balls which seem to hover around 2-5/8″ in diameter. This specific example is 2 1/8″ in diameter and was made in a 2-piece mold. It has a long neck with a ring, and a rough sheared mouth.

The ball is embossed B.M.P on one side and LONDON on the other. The glass is crude and has numerous seed bubbles. Nothing is known about the ball and the B.M.P. initials are a mystery. There remains some doubt on both sides of the Atlantic if this is actually a gallery ball.

We have some other similar English gallery balls in the museum including a H. Robinson – Birmm Gallery Ball and a Stacey & Co. gallery ball from East London.

Primary Image: Lot 746: Lot of (2), “B.M.P – LONDON” Gallery Balls, England, 1880 – 1900. Both are cobalt blue, 2-piece mold, have a long neck with ring, and rough sheared mouths, dia. approx. 2 1/8”, both virtually attic mint! One example has crude, seedy glass, the other example has some subtle swirls and striations mixed through the glass. – The Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Shooting Ephemera, An Absentee Auction in Six Parts – 2017-2019, John Pastor and American Glass Gallery

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