WELCOME TO - THE PREMIER WEB PAGE FOR TARGET BALL COLLECTORS
BROUGHT TO YOU BY
ANTIQUE BOTTLE AND GLASS COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
THE MAGAZINE OF THE ANTIQUE BOTTLE COLLECTING HOBBY
THE TARGET BALL WEB PAGE FOR THE COLLECTORS OF ANTIQUE TARGET BALLS!
What are target balls?
You are probably familiar with trap shooting - the firing with a shotgun at round, clay disks thrown into the air - and perhaps have even done it. But while clay shooting has been around for more than a hundred years, what came before it?
The No. 1 answer is live bird shooting, thousands and thousands of live birds, particularly pigeons (which is why those clay disks are still called "clay pigeons"). But from around 1875 to the early 1900s, glass balls were the target of choice, particularly in exhibition and Wild West Show shooting.
These balls, similar to today's glass Christmas tree ornaments, were very popular, and were shot at across America and Europe. They were the "only substitute ever invented for the living bird," something that Annie Oakley is said to have had silk streamers stuffed inside, something that, in one summer the Bohemian Glass Works was making at the rate of 1,250,000 over six months' time, something Buffalo Bill chased after on horseback, "old ladies" darned socks on and babies allegedy cut their teeth on - all according to an 1878 ad!
In their heyday, target balls sold for a little over a penny each; today one has sold for as much as $14,850, although "common" balls can be found for under a hundred dollars. These glass orbs, once shot at by the hundreds and hundreds of thousands, are now hunted by collectors for their rarity and their link to a colorful era long past.
As a collectible, the diversity of patterns, colors and countries of origin, as well the constantly increasing value, combine to make target balls a hobby that can't miss.
|FOR FUN, SURE AS SHOOTIN' -||TARGET BALLS (PICTURE PAGE)||TARGET BALLS: AN INTRODUCTION|
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