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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.

4 VINTAGE ALLEY AGATE OR CHAMPION AGATE LAVENDER SWIRL MARBLES
4 VINTAGE ALLEY AGATE OR CHAMPION AGATE LAVENDER SWIRL MARBLES
$9.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 5d 11h 5m
5 MINT ANTIQUE ALLEY AGATE TRANSPARENT CORAL SWIRL MARBLES
5 MINT ANTIQUE ALLEY AGATE TRANSPARENT CORAL SWIRL MARBLES
$9.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 5d 11h 5m
4 MINT ANTIQUE AKRO AGATE INDIGO BLUE CORKSCREW MARBLES
4 MINT ANTIQUE AKRO AGATE INDIGO BLUE CORKSCREW MARBLES
$9.99
Time Remaining: 5d 11h 3m
11 MINT ANTIQUE/VINTAGE CHAMPION, ALLEY, CHRISTENSEN AGATE SWIRL MARBLES
11 MINT ANTIQUE/VINTAGE CHAMPION, ALLEY, CHRISTENSEN AGATE SWIRL MARBLES
$10.99 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 5d 10h 57m
11 MINT ANTIQUE AKRO AGATE PATCH MARBLES
11 MINT ANTIQUE AKRO AGATE PATCH MARBLES
$9.99
Time Remaining: 5d 10h 56m
M2906 VINTAGE VITRO AGATE VARIOUS 5 LOT MARBLES  5/8
M2906 VINTAGE VITRO AGATE VARIOUS 5 LOT MARBLES 5/8" +/- EXCELLENT/NEAR MINT
$7.50
Time Remaining: 26d 23h 27m
Buy It Now for only: $7.50
M4560 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE  7 LOT MARBLES  5/8
M4560 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE 7 LOT MARBLES 5/8" +/- NEAR MINT
$8.50
Time Remaining: 14d 20h 20m
Buy It Now for only: $8.50
Antique Marbles Clay Blue White Early Handmade. Lot Of 12.
Antique Marbles Clay Blue White Early Handmade. Lot Of 12.
$16.99
Time Remaining: 20d 6h 52m
Buy It Now for only: $16.99
M4473 VINTAGE 7 LOT  AKRO AGATE MARBLES  5/8
M4473 VINTAGE 7 LOT AKRO AGATE MARBLES 5/8" +/- NEAR MINT
$8.00
Time Remaining: 10d 21h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $8.00
M4562 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE  7 LOT MARBLES  5/8
M4562 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE 7 LOT MARBLES 5/8" +/- NEAR MINT
$8.50
Time Remaining: 14d 20h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $8.50
M4554 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE  5 LOT MARBLES  5/8
M4554 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE 5 LOT MARBLES 5/8" +/- MINT
$9.50
Time Remaining: 14d 20h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $9.50
M4548 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE  5 LOT MARBLES  5/8
M4548 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE 5 LOT MARBLES 5/8" +/- MINT
$9.50
Time Remaining: 14d 9h 51m
Buy It Now for only: $9.50

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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.