Erica Kornberg
June 10, 1994 AT 04:00 AM EDT

It’s been 60 years since marbles had their heyday on the sidewalks of America. Your average ’90s kid would rather play with one Sega CD than a whole barrelful of aggies and immies. But before you go shooting your mouth off about marbles, did you know that the ancient Romans played a similar game with round nuts? That Pieter Brueghel the Elder painted a scene of children playing marbles? Still not impressed? Then forget the text of Aggies, Immies, Shooter, and Swirls: The Magical World of Marbles by Marilyn Barrett, and check out its eye-popping photographs. Here are painted clay marbles that look like birds’ eggs; delicate, 19th-century porcelain marbles from Germany; dramatic sulfides containing silvery figures of animals; pristine-looking mineral marbles from India; and intricate millefiori-style | marbles filled with tiny bits of glass. Yes, there is no getting around it: These are gorgeous orbs. A-

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