Geometric Target Ball

Provenance: Ex: Ralph Finch Collection, American Glass Gallery

Our embossed geometric pattern glass ball is a superb example of what is thought to be a rare Australian target ball, circa 1880 to 1900. It is attributed to Melbourne Glassworks.”

The ball is in medium amber glass and has a pronounced embossed overall geometric pattern with a cross through the two smallest center rings on both ends or sides. It is a 2-piece mold with a rough sheared mouth and is 2-5/8” diameter. The ball is in perfect condition and can be found in some stunning glass colors.

Melbourne Glass Bottle Works Company was established in Graham Street Emerald Hill, South Melbourne, by two pharmacists – Alfred Felton, and Fredrick Sheppard Grimwade. The plant produced bottles for the company’s pharmaceutical products and was the foundation of glass bottle manufacturing in Australia. The company expanded rapidly, moved to Spotswood, Victoria (Melbourne), and bought out smaller businesses. By the early 1900s, they had assets in most states. Sometime in the 1920s, the Melbourne Glass Bottle Works Company was amalgamated into the Australian Glass Manufacturing Co. Ltd. later known as Australian Consolidated Industries.

See our museum example of an embossed geometric pattern glass ball in cobalt blue.

Primary Images: Both museum examples of rotating Geometric Target Balls imaged on location by the FOHBC Virtual Museum midwest studio led by Alan DeMaison.

Primary Image: Auction Lot 577: Embossed Geometric Pattern Target Ball, probably Melbourne Glassworks, Australia, 1880-1900. Medium amber, overall geometric pattern with a cross-through center rings on the sides. 2-piece mold, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8”, perfect. Another great example of this rare Australian target ball, very strongly embossed, beautiful. Ralph indicates that he purchased this ball many years ago while flying to California on a plane. – American Glass Gallery, The Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Ephemera, Six-Part Auction, 2017–2019

Secondary Image: Auction Lot 576: Embossed Geometric Pattern Target Ball, probably Melbourne Glassworks, Australia, 1880-1900. Cobalt blue, overall geometric pattern with a cross through center rings on the sides. 2-piece mold, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8”, perfect. A rare and impressive ball, strongly embossed, and one of only a few known to have been manufactured in the “Land Down Under.” – American Glass Gallery, The Ralph Finch Collection of Target Balls, Traps and Ephemera, Six-Part Auction, 2017–2019

Support: Reference to What are target balls? I’m glad you asked! by Ralph Finch, Bottles and Extras, January–February, 2008

Support Images: Auction Lot 131: Embossed Geometric Pattern Target Ball, two-piece mold construction, probably Melbourne Glass Works, Melbourne, Australia, 1880-1900. Spherical with overall geometric pattern with a cross through center rings on the sides, light amethyst with a mauve tone, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8 inches; (two faint body bruises, the largest being 3/8 inch). A wonderful lighter color for this rare ball. Cindy Gaffney collection. – Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #159

Support Images: Auction Lot 145: Embossed Geometric Pattern Target Ball, two-piece mold construction, probably Melbourne Glass Works, Melbourne, Australia, 1880-1900. Spherical with overall geometric pattern with a cross through center rings on sides, rich cobalt blue, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8 inches. A heavy ball with thick glass, crisp embossing and a vivid blue color. Fine condition. Cindy Gaffney collection. – Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #159

Support Images: Auction Lot 150: Embossed Geometric Pattern Target Ball, two-piece mold construction, probably Melbourne Glass Works, Melbourne, Australia, 1880-1900. Spherical with overall geometric pattern with a cross through center rings on sides, medium amethyst with a red tone, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8 inches. Bold embossing and a beautiful rich color. Rare. Fine condition. Cindy Gaffney collection. – Norman C. Heckler & Company, Auction #159

Support Image: Auction Lot 985: Sporting Target Ball. Embossing: Target Ball. Australian made, attributed to Melbourne Glass Works. Mid amethyst throughout. Cross-hatched pattern with target-like pattern to sides. Type: Sporting Target Ball. – ABCR Auctions, Auction #36 – April 27, 2019

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