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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.

MARBLES ANTIQUE RARE UNGLAZED HAND PAINTED 3/4
MARBLES ANTIQUE RARE UNGLAZED HAND PAINTED 3/4" CHINA CLAY HELIX LEAVES XLNT!!!!
$14.94 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1h 42m
Lot of 25 Vintage Dyed Handmade Clay Marbles.  Great Colors!
Lot of 25 Vintage Dyed Handmade Clay Marbles. Great Colors!
$10.95
Time Remaining: 20d 21h 14m
Buy It Now for only: $10.95
MARBLES RARE LARGE 1
MARBLES RARE LARGE 1" BULLSEYE WHITE RINGS AGATE STONE SPHERE MARBLE EXCELLENT
$13.49 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1h 43m
MARBLES ANTIQUE VINTAGE RARE 3 COLOR INTRICATE UNGLAZED LINED CROCKERY CLAY XLNT
MARBLES ANTIQUE VINTAGE RARE 3 COLOR INTRICATE UNGLAZED LINED CROCKERY CLAY XLNT
$12.99
Time Remaining: 1h 44m
Antique Stoneware Clay Estate Marbles: 194pc. Lot, Assorted Colors
Antique Stoneware Clay Estate Marbles: 194pc. Lot, Assorted Colors
$36.00 (11 Bids)
Time Remaining: 16h 9m
20 Antique Handmade  Clay Marbles Natural & Dyed One Lot Only JJ
20 Antique Handmade Clay Marbles Natural & Dyed One Lot Only JJ
$10.50 (6 Bids)
Time Remaining: 18h 35m
7 Antique
7 Antique "EXCAVATED" German Bennington Marbles (Diameter .83" to .60") NEAT!
$9.99
Time Remaining: 5d 23h 4m
Buy It Now for only: $9.99
31 vintage mixed lot collection of marbles Clay Glass + others Pepsi bugs Bunny
31 vintage mixed lot collection of marbles Clay Glass + others Pepsi bugs Bunny
$1.97 (6 Bids)
Time Remaining: 23h 51m
BIG ANTIQUE HAND-CUT FACETED BANDED AGATE SHOOTER MARBLE   7/8
BIG ANTIQUE HAND-CUT FACETED BANDED AGATE SHOOTER MARBLE 7/8"+ (.881")
$19.99
Time Remaining: 1d 7m
Vintage No. 1 Bennington Agate-Marbles
Vintage No. 1 Bennington Agate-Marbles
$40.00 (12 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 33m
antique primitive clay marbles color glazes Civil War German Lot of 200 1TF09
antique primitive clay marbles color glazes Civil War German Lot of 200 1TF09
$15.00
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 30m
Huge vintage Bennington crockery shooter marble
Huge vintage Bennington crockery shooter marble
$55.00
Time Remaining: 29d 19h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $55.00

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Marble Trivia

All marbles are spherical, but not all spheres are marbles. A good definition for a marble is any sphere less than about three inches wide originally sold as a toy marble.