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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.

VINTAGE  antique MARBLE MARBLES LOT Of ATTIC FIND!   12+ Pounds Bennington More
VINTAGE antique MARBLE MARBLES LOT Of ATTIC FIND! 12+ Pounds Bennington More
$99.00
Time Remaining: 3h 41m
Antique China Clay & Other Old Handmade Marbles Lot of 22
Antique China Clay & Other Old Handmade Marbles Lot of 22
$12.50 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 8h 27m
Bennington German Marbles Blue Brown & Fancy Glazed Antique Crockery Lot of 28
Bennington German Marbles Blue Brown & Fancy Glazed Antique Crockery Lot of 28
$12.50 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 8h 13m
Vintage Vitro Agate Opal Patch Marble 19/32
Vintage Vitro Agate Opal Patch Marble 19/32" ~ Lovely! ~
$1.99
Time Remaining: 4h 35m
 Christensen Agate four color htf  !!!  .698  killer!!!!!!!! nm
Christensen Agate four color htf !!! .698 killer!!!!!!!! nm
$0.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 4h 19m
  Akro Agate Red and Green Popeye Corkscrew.
Akro Agate Red and Green Popeye Corkscrew.
$17.59 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4h 39m
MARBLES Akro Agate Co  POPEYE Corkscrew  Fluorescent  EGG YOLK - NAVY BLUE  0.7
MARBLES Akro Agate Co POPEYE Corkscrew Fluorescent EGG YOLK - NAVY BLUE 0.7"
$145.00
Time Remaining: 29d 3h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $145.00
Akro Agate Popeye Corkscrew 3/4
Akro Agate Popeye Corkscrew 3/4" Shooter Marble Rare Lime Green & Yellow
$9.95 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1h 29m
Cedarman7; Beautiful Vintage 19/32
Cedarman7; Beautiful Vintage 19/32" Wet Mint (-) Vitro Agate Marble!!
$1.99
Time Remaining: 5h 2m
 Christensen Agate three color htf  !!!  .637 awesome!!!!!!!! nm
Christensen Agate three color htf !!! .637 awesome!!!!!!!! nm
$1.25 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4h 30m
Vintage Akro Agate Purple Slag Marble 21/32
Vintage Akro Agate Purple Slag Marble 21/32" ~ Super-Duper ~
$1.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 4h 47m
(3)Vintage ALLEY AGATE ? CHAMPION?  Swirl Marble
(3)Vintage ALLEY AGATE ? CHAMPION? Swirl Marble
$5.99
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 4m

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Marble Trivia

Machine-made marbles known as 'sparklers' and 'sunbursts' were attempts to mimic the earlier handmade marbles called onionskins.