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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.

Vitro Agate Vintage Marbles Tri-Lite Lot of 24+Shooter Mint-Near Mint Condition
Vitro Agate Vintage Marbles Tri-Lite Lot of 24+Shooter Mint-Near Mint Condition
$7.99
Time Remaining: 32m
 Vintage Lot of Colored Clay Marbles
Vintage Lot of Colored Clay Marbles
$5.99
Time Remaining: 23h 30m
Marbles: 21/32 Mint (+) CAC Christensen Agate 3 Color Purple, Green Swirl
Marbles: 21/32 Mint (+) CAC Christensen Agate 3 Color Purple, Green Swirl
$13.27 (8 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1h 44m
~✿~ 10 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE POPEYES CORKSCREWS MARBLES W/HYBRIDS & PURPLES ~✿~
~✿~ 10 VINTAGE AKRO AGATE POPEYES CORKSCREWS MARBLES W/HYBRIDS & PURPLES ~✿~
$350.00
Time Remaining: 4d 22h 50m
Buy It Now for only: $350.00
Vintage Alley Agate Swirl Marble 19/32
Vintage Alley Agate Swirl Marble 19/32" ~ Great Color! ~
$1.99
Time Remaining: 5h 18m
3 Vintage Akro Agate Limeade Swirl/Corkscrew Marbles UV Crazy Design VG-NM
3 Vintage Akro Agate Limeade Swirl/Corkscrew Marbles UV Crazy Design VG-NM
$19.99
Time Remaining: 5d 14h 37m
Buy It Now for only: $19.99
MINT VINTAGE CAC CHRISTENSEN AGATE SWIRL MARBLE 19/32
MINT VINTAGE CAC CHRISTENSEN AGATE SWIRL MARBLE 19/32"+ (.603") Very Cool C
$10.49 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 4h 16m
Vintage Alley Agate Swirl Marble 5/8
Vintage Alley Agate Swirl Marble 5/8" ~ Gorgeous! ~
$1.99
Time Remaining: 5h 25m
Marbles: 5/8 Mint (+) CAC Christensen Agate Cobalt Blue 2 Color Swirl
Marbles: 5/8 Mint (+) CAC Christensen Agate Cobalt Blue 2 Color Swirl
$34.00 (14 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1h 34m
Vintage Vitro Agate Buttermilk Patch Marble 5/8
Vintage Vitro Agate Buttermilk Patch Marble 5/8" ~ Sweet! ~
$1.99
Time Remaining: 5h 20m
50 Vintage Clay Marbles With Bennington Germany Shooter Beautiful Collection
50 Vintage Clay Marbles With Bennington Germany Shooter Beautiful Collection
$24.99
Time Remaining: 4d 16h 19m
Buy It Now for only: $24.99
3 Vintage Akro Agate Corkscrew/Patch Marbles Multicolor Ketchup/Mustard NM-M
3 Vintage Akro Agate Corkscrew/Patch Marbles Multicolor Ketchup/Mustard NM-M
$49.99
Time Remaining: 5d 14h 51m
Buy It Now for only: $49.99

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Marble Trivia

In his youth, the Emperor Augustus was reported to have played a game like marbles with Moorish boys.