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Clay, Ceramic and Stoneware Marbles

Before glass marbles became common, antique toy marbles were made from ceramics, including clay, stoneware, and china or porcelain. From the late 1500s through the early 1700s salt-glazed stoneware marbles were made first by the Dutch and then later by the Germans.

Clay marbles were first made in America in 1884 by The Akron Toy Company. Prior to 1884 they were imported from Germany.

Billions of the plain clay marbles were made in the USA from 1884 until about 1950. Despite being antiques, these clay "commies" are still common today and not really collectible.

On the other hand, certain ceramic marbles are quite collectible. These include the very affordable glazed Bennington marbles colored brown, tan, blue or "fancy" as well as the early "China" marbles that were painted with often intricate line patterns, or even miniature painted scenes. Especially rare and desirable are the "Pennsylvania Dutch china" marbles from the late 1800s, which feature charming hand painted designs. These can easily fetch more than $500 when they do come up for sale.

1 Dyed Ground Banded Agate & Bullseye Marbles .900 Lot I
1 Dyed Ground Banded Agate & Bullseye Marbles .900 Lot I
$14.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 30m
CLAY LARGE SHOOTER MARBLES PLUS A STEELIE--3 TOTAL..LOT 4
CLAY LARGE SHOOTER MARBLES PLUS A STEELIE--3 TOTAL..LOT 4
$15.00
Time Remaining: 9d 22h 41m
Buy It Now for only: $15.00
Vintage Clay Marble Lot VERY OLD Hand Made NICE ASSORTMENT
Vintage Clay Marble Lot VERY OLD Hand Made NICE ASSORTMENT
$9.99
Time Remaining: 18h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $24.99
Vintage MARBLE agate Akro Spiral corkscrew lots of color
Vintage MARBLE agate Akro Spiral corkscrew lots of color
$3.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 21h 29m
Vintage MARBLE agate Akro Spiral corkscrew lots of color purple/white
Vintage MARBLE agate Akro Spiral corkscrew lots of color purple/white
$3.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 21h 31m
12 Clay Marbles -  17/32nds to 1-1/4 -  Awesome Group -  071614-7  DG
12 Clay Marbles - 17/32nds to 1-1/4 - Awesome Group - 071614-7 DG
$4.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 23h 9m
Antique Vintage Lot of 55 Marbles Hand Made Shooters Clay Stone Machine Made Gl
Antique Vintage Lot of 55 Marbles Hand Made Shooters Clay Stone Machine Made Gl
$6.00
Time Remaining: 27d 23h 10m
Buy It Now for only: $6.00
Antique Bennington Blue Glazed Marble
Antique Bennington Blue Glazed Marble
$3.99
Time Remaining: 1d 39m
Antique Bennington Blue Glazed Marble
Antique Bennington Blue Glazed Marble
$2.99
Time Remaining: 1d 39m
Antique Bennington White Glazed Marble
Antique Bennington White Glazed Marble
$2.99
Time Remaining: 1d 39m
Antique Bennington Brown & Blue Glazed Marble
Antique Bennington Brown & Blue Glazed Marble
$4.99
Time Remaining: 1d 39m
Large Bennington - Just Under 1-1/2  -  Excellent Condition -  052411-8  PI
Large Bennington - Just Under 1-1/2 - Excellent Condition - 052411-8 PI
$37.50
Time Remaining: 27d 19h 32m
Buy It Now for only: $37.50

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Marble Trivia

100 years ago the most expensive marble was the genuine agate, or 'realer'; it took the most labor to create and also made the best shooter due to its hardness, roundness and weight.