These are a very different type art from the non-primitive Contemporary Folk Artists spotlighted elsewhere on Collectibles.
The colorful tops are made with wooden pieces and a single marble, that are put together and then brightly painted, often with a scripture reference.
When I found these at a toy show, I loved them and took forever to pick out two or three. After I got them home I realized I needed more of them. So I called the seller and brought the rest he had for sale (they were only a $1. each and yes, I still feel guilty).
These are a magnet for anyone who sits in the living room, they can't keep their hands off the toys, which is the whole idea. Folks love to look at them and then spin them over and over again. Every once in a while I'll let a youngster pick one out to take home, which only means I'll have to find out if I can still buy more to replenish the stock.
Speaking of tops, did you realized there is a Yo-Yo and Spinning Top Museum. Located in Burlington, Wisconsin they have an annual convention with contests, exhibits, classes and trading events. Browse around the website for loads of pictures and links. Looks like a terrific place to visit.
About Folk Art
Antique folk art is pricey and often hard to find, which has lead to many artists recreating the vintage and antique look in their contemporary works of art. Take a look at some of the well known holiday artists -- many of their items definitely have the folk art look, but refined in the process and final product.
Although the prices of these contemporary works of art can still be steep, they're not anywhere near as costly as the authentic pieces often found at auctions.
Definition of Folk Art:
Folk art can encompass a variety of art, but what it has in common is the artistic aspect of an item and the lack of formal training of the artist.
Often it will mean the art of native folks or regions of the world. It can be considered primitive or naive, but with basic artistic skills exhibited by the artist.
Antique American folk art can be quite pricey when found at well-known auctions. The antique pieces were not art for art's sake, but instead functional items that were created by painters who made their living creating their pieces.