Antique Feather Filled Target Ball – SOLD


This fascinating piece of sportsman’s history pre-dates the invention of clay pigeons. The perfect collectible from the earliest days of competitive shooting.

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Antique Feather Filled Target Ball

Antique Feather Filled Target Ball. This fascinating piece of sportsman’s history pre-dates the invention of clay pigeons. While variations of trap shooting date back to the early 1830’s in England, most of these competitions utilized live birds as targets. Seeking a more uniform target, the idea of shooting at glass balls gained popularity. Charles Portluck is credited with originating the sport in the United States in 1866, with the first competitive shoots taking place in Boston in 1867. Unfortunately, the early traps could only throw the glass balls straight up into the air. This offered little challenge to sportsman used to the furtive, unpredictable movements of live birds. A decade later, A. H. Bogardis invented the first practical trap, capable of tossing a glass ball over 60 feet. Bogardis also patented several designs for glass target balls. With these inventions came rules and regulations for this type of shooting.

About Glass Target Balls, courtesy of The Trapshooting Hall of Fame:

“These early glass balls were much harder to break than the clay pigeons of today. Some companies advertised that their glass balls were made of more uniform thickness than others, therefore they could be made thinner and would break more easily.

There is no complete record of the manufacturers of these balls. Very few carried the name of their maker and all of these balls were hand blown in molds at the end of a blowpipe.

Glass balls generally may be identified by the neck, which protrudes from each one. The edge of the neck usually is very jagged, caused by breaking away the ball from the end of the blowpipe after the glass had cooled.”



Item measures approximately 3″ in Diameter.


Item appears in Good pre-owned condition with wear commensurate with age. Minor scuffs and scratches on exterior of glass ball. The edge of the neck is jagged, but this most likely occurred during production. Ball is filled with feathers. No makers mark appears present. Lastly, please review all photos as they are an important part of our listing.

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