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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 bennington and china clay marbles
Antique bennington and china clay marbles
$28.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 6m
20 Vintage Antique Clay Germany Bennington Blue Shooter Collect Display Old Time
20 Vintage Antique Clay Germany Bennington Blue Shooter Collect Display Old Time
$14.00
Time Remaining: 8d 5h 33m
Buy It Now for only: $14.00
Vintage Marble Lot Bennington Fancy Crockery China Mix NR
Vintage Marble Lot Bennington Fancy Crockery China Mix NR
$14.95 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 3d 6h 4m
VINTAGE, CHRISTIAN AGATE YELLOW GUINEA/COBRA MARBLE, 43/64-.671
VINTAGE, CHRISTIAN AGATE YELLOW GUINEA/COBRA MARBLE, 43/64-.671
$300.00
Time Remaining: 2d 7h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $300.00
Beautiful Large Bennington Mottled Matte Red Clay Marble 1 1/4
Beautiful Large Bennington Mottled Matte Red Clay Marble 1 1/4" Diameter
$0.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 35m
Akro Agate Indian Blanket Corkscrew Marble Vintage? Multi-Color .62
Akro Agate Indian Blanket Corkscrew Marble Vintage? Multi-Color .62"
$0.99
Time Remaining: 6d 8h 20m
RARE Vintage AKRO AGATE 4 Color (Hybrid) POPEYE CORKSCREW MARBLE ~ .704
RARE Vintage AKRO AGATE 4 Color (Hybrid) POPEYE CORKSCREW MARBLE ~ .704" ~ C144
$142.00
Time Remaining: 11d 5h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $142.00
Akro Agate Indian Blanket Corkscrew Marble Vintage? Multi-Color .63
Akro Agate Indian Blanket Corkscrew Marble Vintage? Multi-Color .63" Grn/Blk/Red
$0.99
Time Remaining: 6d 8h 20m
INCLUDED Lot 20 Akro Agate Peltier Marbles Swirl Solid Oak Marble Display Rack
INCLUDED Lot 20 Akro Agate Peltier Marbles Swirl Solid Oak Marble Display Rack
$183.51
Time Remaining: 2d 7h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $183.51
Marbles, Christensen Agate, 2 ea. 13/16
Marbles, Christensen Agate, 2 ea. 13/16" and 11/16"
$50.00
Time Remaining: 6d 9h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Christensen Agate oxblood  rare!!!!!! !!! .648 wild!!!!! nm
Christensen Agate oxblood rare!!!!!! !!! .648 wild!!!!! nm
$0.99
Time Remaining: 3d 7h 39m
1000 MIXED VINTAGE VITRO AGATE MARBLES  FROM A LARGE MIXED LOT $125.00
1000 MIXED VINTAGE VITRO AGATE MARBLES FROM A LARGE MIXED LOT $125.00
$125.00
Time Remaining: 20d 23h 24m
Buy It Now for only: $125.00

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Marble Trivia

According to a late 19th-century American newspaper ad, you could buy a 'flint' marble for 5 cents, a glass agate for 1 cent, a dozen Chinas for 5 cents, or two-dozen 'commons' for 5 cents.