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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.

58 Antique Handmade Bennington and Clay Marbles...Mostly Benningtons...Peewees
58 Antique Handmade Bennington and Clay Marbles...Mostly Benningtons...Peewees
$19.95 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 17h 36m
100 Antique German-made 7/16
100 Antique German-made 7/16" Bennington Marbles w/Original Box
$25.00
Time Remaining: 19h 24m
AWESOME VINTAGE AKRO AGATE OXBLOOD ASH TRAY .. 2-3/4
AWESOME VINTAGE AKRO AGATE OXBLOOD ASH TRAY .. 2-3/4"(+) .. #0423L
$10.25 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 8h 5m
ANTIQUE MARBLES 850 CLAY GREAT COLOR & SHOOTERS + GERMAN HAND MADE & SULPHIDE
ANTIQUE MARBLES 850 CLAY GREAT COLOR & SHOOTERS + GERMAN HAND MADE & SULPHIDE
$550.00
Time Remaining: 6d 15h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $550.00
CAC Christensen Agate Electric Yellow 2 Seam Flourescent Slag 0.59
CAC Christensen Agate Electric Yellow 2 Seam Flourescent Slag 0.59"
$9.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 9h 40m
BENNINGTON CLAY MARBLES lot of 12 with SHOOTERS
BENNINGTON CLAY MARBLES lot of 12 with SHOOTERS
$5.00
Time Remaining: 18h 26m
Three Nice Alley Agate Swirls.
Three Nice Alley Agate Swirls.
$7.00
Time Remaining: 19h 6m
MARBLE VINTAGE DYED AGATE 3/4
MARBLE VINTAGE DYED AGATE 3/4"
$1.99
Time Remaining: 11h 56m
ONE VERY NICE VINTAGE NATURAL AGATE MARBLE .. FACETED SURFACE .. 3/4
ONE VERY NICE VINTAGE NATURAL AGATE MARBLE .. FACETED SURFACE .. 3/4" .. #0416J
$7.25 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 9h 12m
Old Antique Vintage Marbles ~ Vitro Agate Conquerors (16)
Old Antique Vintage Marbles ~ Vitro Agate Conquerors (16)
$1.00
Time Remaining: 5h 9m
Vintage akro agate translucent corkscrew marble
Vintage akro agate translucent corkscrew marble
$1.99
Time Remaining: 19h 5m
Alley Agate marbles  from 1932-1936   found during the  Alley  Excavation
Alley Agate marbles from 1932-1936 found during the Alley Excavation
$4.04 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 7h 1m

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Marble Trivia

The first mass-produced children's toy was clay marbles by Sam Dyke in Akron, Ohio in the late 1880s. At peak production more than one million a day were made.