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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.

Antique Six Marbles-4 Agates-1 Cloudy-1 Clay
Antique Six Marbles-4 Agates-1 Cloudy-1 Clay
$3.99 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3h 19m
25 interesting hand made ANTIQUE PRIMITIVE CLAY TOY MARBLES multi-collectible
25 interesting hand made ANTIQUE PRIMITIVE CLAY TOY MARBLES multi-collectible
$19.99
Time Remaining: 6d 6h 35m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
15 Antique Blue Clay Bennington Marbles  Nice
15 Antique Blue Clay Bennington Marbles Nice
$19.99
Time Remaining: 19h 24m
Lot of 206 Vintage Clay Marbles Circa 1890's
Lot of 206 Vintage Clay Marbles Circa 1890's
$36.00 (5 Bids)
Time Remaining: 19h 37m
Vintage Oak General Grant Board with 32 Agate Marbles
Vintage Oak General Grant Board with 32 Agate Marbles
$75.00
Time Remaining: 21h 47m
100 - 1860's Civil War era Clay Marbles, includes a Shooter ~ hand made
100 - 1860's Civil War era Clay Marbles, includes a Shooter ~ hand made
$39.99
Time Remaining: 1d 27m
20 old VINTAGE MARBLES CLAY BENNINGTON CIVIL WAR TO VICTORIAN TOY COLLECTIBLES
20 old VINTAGE MARBLES CLAY BENNINGTON CIVIL WAR TO VICTORIAN TOY COLLECTIBLES
$15.00
Time Remaining: 6d 7h 9m
Buy It Now for only: $15.00
LOT 29:  HANDMADE OLD AGATE .69
LOT 29: HANDMADE OLD AGATE .69" DIA. SUPER CLEAN!
$9.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 1h 41m
Excellent Early Antique Bulleseye China Marble
Excellent Early Antique Bulleseye China Marble
$19.99
Time Remaining: 1d 3h 44m
Buy It Now for only: $55.00
Very HTF Faceted Agate Marble Blue 4+ Colors Rare Huge Size Mint
Very HTF Faceted Agate Marble Blue 4+ Colors Rare Huge Size Mint
$52.00 (7 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 22h 46m
LOT CHINA MARBLES NICE GROUP
LOT CHINA MARBLES NICE GROUP
$19.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2d 16m
100+ Antique Vintage Clay Marbles In Drawstring Pouch
100+ Antique Vintage Clay Marbles In Drawstring Pouch
$44.99
Time Remaining: 29d 4h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $44.99

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Marble Trivia

Before marbles were called 'marbles' in England, they were known as 'bowls' or 'knickers'.