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View Full Version : Im researching balls...thats sea balls if anyone knows



Little Red Barn
02-23-2007, 05:02 AM
I am interested in these glass balls that are, were, perhaps used for nautical purpose. Sometimes they wash up on shore..
Does anybody know about them, their origination-history... how long they have been used? How to tell the difference between new and older ones...
And where I can get some of these..thanks

ETA: this is not a dare thread--

MidnightMuse
02-23-2007, 05:06 AM
My grandfather collected those for years - in Japan (1920's) they were used as floats for fishing nets. That's why you'll find them now and again washed up on shores. The real ones are hard to find, but not impossible.

Replicas are pretty common in tourist shops here on the Seattle waterfront. Very pretty, nice colors - usually sea greens and blues.

Del
02-23-2007, 05:07 AM
I've seen them. I've wanted some. I've heard they are floats for nets or traps. If I ever found one on the beach I'd SNATCH IT. ;)

I know this dosn't help but I wanted to express my interest. :)

Little Red Barn
02-23-2007, 05:20 AM
Thanks guys maybe someone will know...Silver will be on shortly, thanks

MidnightMuse
02-23-2007, 05:23 AM
My grandpa found his on the beaches of Japan while he was stationed there - but I have been told people here (Washington) have been known to find them occasionally on the beach. I never have, in all my years of looking !

Kimmie - if you want to find them to buy, I'd be happy to do a little searching. I've bought some in the past myself.

Little Red Barn
02-23-2007, 05:25 AM
Thank you MM--that woud be nice, I need about 10 but I'd settle for 5...the old ones...:)

Marlys
02-23-2007, 05:47 AM
Here's a page (http://users.techline.com/debadoo/html/float_history.html) giving a bit of history.

Little Red Barn
02-23-2007, 06:07 AM
Here's a page (http://users.techline.com/debadoo/html/float_history.html) giving a bit of history.
Thank you sweetie :)

Nicole_Gestalt
02-23-2007, 06:14 AM
In Britain some of them are known as witch balls, they where tied to boats to protect them, the idea being that the spirits where scared of the sunlight shinning through the glass.

A boat never used to leave without a blessing and one of the balls attached to them.

There may be another reason and use for them but that is the only one i'm sure of.

People who live near the sea still have them somewhere in their house again for protection.

Rolling Thunder
02-23-2007, 06:14 AM
Neato.

Silver King
02-23-2007, 06:16 AM
Thanks guys maybe someone will know...Silver will be on shortly, thanks
Boy, Kimmi, you sure show a lot of faith.:)

Marlys' link more than sums up my knowledge of glass floats. I do own two authentic ones, a blue and a red, which were given to me as gifts.

Little Red Barn
02-23-2007, 06:17 AM
In Britain some of them are known as witch balls, they where tied to boats to protect them, the idea being that the spirits where scared of the sunlight shinning through the glass.

A boat never used to leave without a blessing and one of the balls attached to them.

There may be another reason and use for them but that is the only one i'm sure of.

People who live near the sea still have them somewhere in their house again for protection.
Interesting thank you

Vanatru
02-23-2007, 06:18 AM
I grew up on the northwest coast. After storms we'd find 'em occassionally floating with debrie or seagrass.

As others have mentioned, they're floats for fish lines/nets. My dad had a collection with the smallest being the size of a softball, the largest being the size of a volleyball. All were sea green in color and made of glass. Very cool. They took up space on the shelf and collected dust.

Nicole_Gestalt
02-23-2007, 06:26 AM
Its not a problem i'm glad I could help, if you'd like any more information on them feel free to get in contact with me.

Rabe
02-23-2007, 06:38 AM
In Britain some of them are known as witch balls, they where tied to boats to protect them, the idea being that the spirits where scared of the sunlight shinning through the glass.

A boat never used to leave without a blessing and one of the balls attached to them.

There may be another reason and use for them but that is the only one i'm sure of.

People who live near the sea still have them somewhere in their house again for protection.

I've heard of stories out of New England that they were used in Colonial times as 'witches balls' but more because they caught and captured the 'evil eye' more than for frightening spirits. That's an intriguing bit of history though.

I bet it could be useful later. Thanks for posting it.

Rabe...

MattW
02-23-2007, 06:40 AM
Sea balls isn't some kind of ailment you get from the motion aboard a ship?

Vanatru
02-23-2007, 06:42 AM
Sea balls isn't some kind of ailment you get from the motion aboard a ship?

I hear they have lotions for those kinda things.....you might want to see a doctor about that. Really.

MattW
02-23-2007, 06:45 AM
I thought the uncontrollable swaying would stop when I hit dry land...

Nicole_Gestalt
02-23-2007, 06:45 AM
I've heard of stories out of New England that they were used in Colonial times as 'witches balls' but more because they caught and captured the 'evil eye' more than for frightening spirits. That's an intriguing bit of history though.

There are many different ways of using them, they caight or scared of evil and unwanted spirits. Some are made with objects such as herbs placed inside them, but most are just holllow.

I hope you find use for it :)

Nicole

Little Red Barn
02-23-2007, 06:48 AM
There are many different ways of using them, they caight or scared of evil and unwanted spirits. Some are made with objects such as herbs placed inside them, but most are just holllow.

I hope you find use for it :)

Nicole
Nicole yes please pm me with any info--thank you

Medievalist
02-23-2007, 07:02 AM
They were sometimes called witch balls in New England

C.bronco
02-23-2007, 07:08 AM
Must...resist.. temptation... to be glib. Help Me Spock! Help Me!

Little Red Barn
02-23-2007, 07:14 AM
Must...resist.. temptation... to be glib. Help Me Spock! Help Me!
Ahh C, I Dare ya..double dare ya..in case you haven't been in the Dare Thread yet.. ;)

C.bronco
02-23-2007, 07:18 AM
Oh, I've seen some truly prophetic and magnificent balls. I could quote ACDC, but I won't for the sake of propriety.

MattW
02-23-2007, 07:26 AM
My favorite balls are festooned with ribbons and buntings of every color.

Silver King
02-23-2007, 07:35 AM
Oh, I've seen some truly prophetic and magnificent balls. I could quote ACDC, but I won't for the sake of propriety.
I'll do it for you.

Who's got big balls?

We've got big balls!

But who's got the biggest,

Balls of them all?


(Japanese fishermen, I'd say.)

Tsu Dho Nimh
02-24-2007, 08:16 PM
I am interested in these glass balls that are, were, perhaps used for nautical purpose. Sometimes they wash up on shore..
Does anybody know about them, their origination-history... how long they have been used? How to tell the difference between new and older ones...
And where I can get some of these..thanks

ETA: this is not a dare thread--

They were used to keep fish nets floating. Usage - centuries

Hard to tell at a glance what are old and new, because they are glass and reproductions abound.

frimble3
02-25-2007, 04:17 AM
I was raised on the coast of British Columbia and lots of people had a couple, at least, kicking around the house or yard. There was no quaint folklore, they were just 'Japanese fishing floats' (local fishermen used either styrofoam eggs or big plastic balls, the kind you could sit and bounce on). We always looked for them, I think I only ever saw one actually 'in the wild' but they were common into the 50's or so. If you're looking older, non-repro ones, try coastal towns with no big tourist draw.