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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.

Marbles 1 Used Vintage Akro Agate Popeye Hybrid Marble VG very pretty
Marbles 1 Used Vintage Akro Agate Popeye Hybrid Marble VG very pretty
$14.99
Time Remaining: 29d 9h 17m
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4 Fantastic Vintage Vitro Agate Shooter Cats Eye Marbles Red Blue Yellow Hybrid
4 Fantastic Vintage Vitro Agate Shooter Cats Eye Marbles Red Blue Yellow Hybrid
$9.99
Time Remaining: 29d 8h 25m
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# 66 VINTAGE RAVENSWOOD & ALLEY AGATE MIX 9.6   9.8
# 66 VINTAGE RAVENSWOOD & ALLEY AGATE MIX 9.6 9.8
$40.00
Time Remaining: 4d 6h 45m
Buy It Now for only: $40.00
Akro Agate Metal Tin Clear Top w/ Logo and Flying
Akro Agate Metal Tin Clear Top w/ Logo and Flying "AS A KRO FLIES"
$4.95
Time Remaining: 3d 12h 59m
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4 Old Primitive Marbles, Estate Found Fresh, Clay/Porcelain, Colored, FREE SHIP
4 Old Primitive Marbles, Estate Found Fresh, Clay/Porcelain, Colored, FREE SHIP
$3.99
Time Remaining: 29d 12h 14m
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6 Super Sweet Vintage Vitro Agate Glass Marbles Helmet HTF Orange V Beautiful
6 Super Sweet Vintage Vitro Agate Glass Marbles Helmet HTF Orange V Beautiful
$9.99
Time Remaining: 29d 8h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $9.99
Alley Agate marbles and cullet from 1932-1936   found during large Excavation
Alley Agate marbles and cullet from 1932-1936 found during large Excavation
$26.90
Time Remaining: 1d 7h 30m
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124 Vintage WV Swirl Marbles Ravenswood Alley Agate Fantastic Collection Busy
124 Vintage WV Swirl Marbles Ravenswood Alley Agate Fantastic Collection Busy
$33.19
Time Remaining: 9d 18h 23m
Buy It Now for only: $33.19
Marbles 1 Vintage Akro Agate Carnelian Oxblood Shooter Crackled .770  Beautiful
Marbles 1 Vintage Akro Agate Carnelian Oxblood Shooter Crackled .770 Beautiful
$20.00
Time Remaining: 7d 18h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $20.00
9 Vintage Slag Glass Marbles 1 Purple Brick Akro Agate Christensen NM-Mint Nice
9 Vintage Slag Glass Marbles 1 Purple Brick Akro Agate Christensen NM-Mint Nice
$49.99
Time Remaining: 9d 14h 43m
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Over 2 lbs Antique Marbles - Includes Clay & Vintage Glass
Over 2 lbs Antique Marbles - Includes Clay & Vintage Glass
$60.00
Time Remaining: 29d 21h 25m
Buy It Now for only: $60.00
21 Antique (Very OLD)Handmade Clay Marbles (Also LIMESTONE,Bennington) *REDUCED
21 Antique (Very OLD)Handmade Clay Marbles (Also LIMESTONE,Bennington) *REDUCED
$16.50
Time Remaining: 6d 23h 11m
Buy It Now for only: $16.50

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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.