Barton & Son’s Unembossed Target Ball

Provenance: Ex: Ralph Finch collection, American Glass Gallery

The previously unknown Barton Balls were found in an old storage building under renovation in England in 2005. The storage building was located on the shooting grounds of a well known English family. The name of the family has been closely guarded and is unknown to collectors.

In the find were two target ball variants – one with the normal target ball neck, the other a wide ground mouth neck. Each of these variants came in two variants – one is cobalt blue; the other a sand ball with a pebble effect in powder blue. The normal neck balls (Fig. 2 & 4) were found loose and scattered about the building. The ground mouth wide neck balls (Fig. 1 & 3) were neatly packed in straw and contained in two wooden crates. Stenciled on the crates were the words “E Barton & Son’s Stourbridge, Purveyors of fine glass shooting Targets.”

To describe these balls as cobalt blue and pebble blue is not completely accurate. The cobalt balls are islands of dark blue with fine clear raised lines surrounding each island. The sand ball is almost impossible to explain. To describe them as spectacular would be an understatement.

Our museum ball is an unembossed Barton & Son’s in a mottled vivid cobalt blue. The 2-3/4″ diameter ball has a short neck with a ground mouth and is in perfect condition. A great deal of workmanship went into blowing these extraordinary target balls, considered by many to be among the most beautiful.

See another ‘sanded’ Barton target ball in light blue in our museum.

Read: Barton Balls Exciting Find of Rare target balls By Mike O’Malley

Research: Mike O’Malley, FOHBC Bottles and Extras, September October 2008.

Support: The Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Ephemera Auction – John Pastor and American Glass Gallery

See More Target Balls

Target Balls Gallery

The Target Balls gallery is still under development. Stay tuned!

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