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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.

Lot Assorted Antique Marbles Clay w Swirl Paint Old Glass Bennington etc Shooter
Lot Assorted Antique Marbles Clay w Swirl Paint Old Glass Bennington etc Shooter
$35.50 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2h 32m
21 (Old)Antique Handmade Clay Marbles Includes 1 small China/1 Brown Bennington
21 (Old)Antique Handmade Clay Marbles Includes 1 small China/1 Brown Bennington
$13.99
Time Remaining: 6d 23h 24m
Buy It Now for only: $13.99
Antique Clay and Bennington Marbles Lot (123 Clay, 38 Bennington) Multi Color
Antique Clay and Bennington Marbles Lot (123 Clay, 38 Bennington) Multi Color
$19.50 (15 Bids)
Time Remaining: 2h 49m
Vintage Akro Agate Oxblood Patch Marble 21/32
Vintage Akro Agate Oxblood Patch Marble 21/32"
$2.49
Time Remaining: 3h 45m
Antique Marble Collection Over 300 Of Hand Made Glass and Clay Marbles Must See
Antique Marble Collection Over 300 Of Hand Made Glass and Clay Marbles Must See
$160.50 (16 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4h 40m
Group Of Old Vintage Clay / Stone / Other Hand Made Marbles  - Lot # 6
Group Of Old Vintage Clay / Stone / Other Hand Made Marbles - Lot # 6
$1.04 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6h 52m
21 (Old)Antique Handmade Clay Marbles Includes 1 small China/1 Blue Bennington
21 (Old)Antique Handmade Clay Marbles Includes 1 small China/1 Blue Bennington
$13.99
Time Remaining: 6d 21h 36m
Buy It Now for only: $13.99
Group Of Old Vintage Clay / Stone / Other Hand Made Marbles  - Lot # 7
Group Of Old Vintage Clay / Stone / Other Hand Made Marbles - Lot # 7
$12.50 (5 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6h 54m
Group Of Old Vintage Clay / Stone / Other Hand Made Marbles  - Lot # 8
Group Of Old Vintage Clay / Stone / Other Hand Made Marbles - Lot # 8
$6.00 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6h 57m
Group Of Old Vintage Clay / Stone / Other Hand Made Marbles  - Lot #9
Group Of Old Vintage Clay / Stone / Other Hand Made Marbles - Lot #9
$15.35 (16 Bids)
Time Remaining: 6h 58m
Lot of 37 Spectacular Vintage c.1940s Speckled Clay Marbles - 12.7mm Diameter
Lot of 37 Spectacular Vintage c.1940s Speckled Clay Marbles - 12.7mm Diameter
$10.50 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 7h 1m
41 Antique White Stoneware Clay Marbles
41 Antique White Stoneware Clay Marbles
$30.00
Time Remaining: 29d 21h 18m
Buy It Now for only: $30.00

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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.