Antique glass marbles are highly collectible, from handmade examples by German glassmakers of the 1800s to marbles made by machine in the early 1900s by U.S. companies like Christensen, Peltier Glass, Akro Agate, and Vitro Agate.

Marbles have been made from a variety of materials throughout the ages, such as stone (limestone, agate, and semiprecious stones), clay (which were so common at the time that they were known as “commies”), and china, although glass marbles are the most popular to collect.

Handmade marbles are especially sought by collectors, especially examples from the mid-1800s through the early 1900s, which can be identified by a pontil mark, formed when the marble was removed from the pontil rod during production.

Machine-made marbles came about during World War I when the U.S. stopped importing handmade marbles. Many collectors enjoy them because they remember playing with them as children.

German swirls, the most common handmade glass marbles, were first produced in Thuringen, Germany. There are five types of German swirl marbles. The most common, latticino core marbles, were created from the 1840s (the beginning of glass marble production) until the mid-1920s. Most cores are white or yellow.

Other German swirls have a solid core (either cylindrical or ridged), a divided core (with multiple strands in the center, most commonly 3 or 4), a ribbon core (with either a single or double ribbon), or a complex core, in which two or more variations are used within the same marble.

Other types of colored glass marbles include maypole marbles (threads swirled on or near the surface of the marble), mists (color created by overlaying glass on or near the surfa...

Lutz marbles are also sought-after by collectors for their beautiful swirls of goldstone decoration. Goldstone, glass made with copper crystals, was first discovered in Venice in the 1600s, but marbles using the material weren’t produced until the early 1900s, just before World War I.

Another popular style is the sulphide marble, which is clear with a small figure in the center. These were produced in the same location and around the same time as German swirls.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

This fabulous site is a guide to Bohemian art glass makers from 1885 to 1920. Loetz was the premier Bohemian glass … [read review or visit site]

Museum of Talking Boards

Museum of Talking Boards

Prepare to enter the strange world of Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board game, which captured imaginations en masse… [read review or visit site]

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

Elliot Avedon Games Museum

This in-depth University of Waterloo virtual exhibit showcases vintage games in a variety of categories, from class… [read review or visit site]

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Cloud Glass Reference Site

Chris and Val Stewart’s impressive attempt to create a complete catalogue of all known cloud glass, a decorative … [read review or visit site]

From Tomy to Coleco to Mattel and Nintendo, check out this collection of over 660 handheld and tabletop videogames … [read review or visit site]

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club

The heart of this website, home of the Antique Glass Salt and Sugar Shaker Club, is the Identification Project, whe… [read review or visit site]

Pong Story

Pong Story

David Winter's tribute to early video games, and to Ralph H. Baer, 'inventor of the video game.' Offers a detailed … [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Estate Vintage Marbles Akro Peltier Oxblood Christensen Slag Peppermint Cork &moAkro Agate Sparkler Htf Colors W/oxblood (i Think) Vingtage Marble 5/8" Mint 9.8-:1929 Popeye Akro Agate 15 Marbles Bag Red Box Excellent ConditionExtremely Rare Antique Cherub Head With Wings Sulphide MarbleMarbles: Hand Made Art Glass James Alloway Dichroic Vortex Marble #1871 2.4inch"set Josephs Onionskin Indians Mica "beautiful Set"Akro Agate Co 3 Color Onyx Spiral Corkscrew Vintage Marble 5/8" Mint 9.8Marbles: Hand Made Art Glass James Alloway Rainbow Marble#1870 1.95inch10 Antique Handmade German Solid Core Swirl Marbles-mix Sizes-aventurine???{•Big Lot 180 All Vintage Marbles: Machine Pelts, Akro Christensen German HandmadeVintage Marble Collection Akro Christensen Indian Mica Latt Moss German Nm-mintMarble Christensen Agate Guinea Wet Mint 5/8ths MarblesHandmade Marble By ~ Jason Holley ~ Borosilicate, Boro, Art Mib:Lot Of 220 Vintage Marbles Including German Latticcino Handmade TypesDrew Fritts Contemporary Art Glass Marble Mint 1.82 Inch 2002 (#2/30) DichroicMarbles: Hand Made Art Glass James Alloway Dichroic Marble #1886 1.1inchDoug Sweet Contemporary Art Glass Marble Mint 1.8 Inch DichroicMark Matthews Contemporary Art Glass Marble Mint 2 Inch Solid Core 1997 3/4"-akro Agate Lemonade/silver/oxblood Hybrid Corkscrew Vintage Marble Mint 9.8Lundberg Studios 2 5/8" Tidal Pool Petite Sphere Art Glass Paperweight/sphereChristiansen Agate Flame Swirl 3 Color Lots Of Tips 5/8"{•Large Handmade Scenic China Marble Farm Scene Silver & Gold Fumed Marble Signed By ~ethan Lesch~ Borosilicate, Boro, Art, MibSilver & Gold Fumed Marble Signed By ~ethan Lesch~ Borosilicate, Boro, Art, MibGateson Recko Contemporary Art Glass Marble Mint 2.12 Inch Universe 2003Vintage Antique Marbles 258! Akro Peltier Marble King Master Vitro Christensen!Vin Lot Of M.f. Slags, Akro Agates, Snakes, Peltiers, Panelled Onionskin & MoreSilver & Gold Fumed Marble Signed By ~ethan Lesch~ Borosilicate, Boro, Art, MibVintage Marble German Lutz Onion Swirl HandmadeSigned Josh Simpson 11 Inhabited Planet Art Glass Marble Lrg 2" Paperweight:A Large 1-5/8"" Antique Rabbit Sulfide Marble5/8" Christensen Agate Co Flame Swirl Vintage Marble Mint 9.6{•Gumball Machine*penny*restored*filled Vintage Marbles*vintage*victor??Old Champion Swirl Marble Marbles 400 Count BoxFritz Lauenstein Contemporary Art Glass Marble Nmint 2.5 Inch Josephs Coat 2000Signed Josh Simpson 01 Inhabited Planet Art Glass Marble 1&1/2" PaperweightVintage Peltier Nlr Liberty Marble 11/16" In Mint Condition Lot#1{•Huge Lot 397 Vintage Marbles German Swirl, Peltier, Akro, Indian, ChristensenMarbles: Hand Made Art Glass James Alloway Dichroic Cane Marble #65 2.05inch3/4"akro Agate 4 Color Popeye Hybrid W/oxblood Vintage Shooter Marble Mint 9.9Beautiful Mint Akro Agate Tightline, 4-color Corkscrew Marble. 3/4" :Estate Vintage Marbles Akro Peltier Oxblood Christensen &more 299 Marbles Marbles: 1941 Akron Beacon Journal Tournament MedalVintage Marble 45/64" Marvellous Peltier Nlr National Rainbo Flaming Dragon 9.0+:Handmade Marble By ~ Jason Holley ~ Borosilicate, Boro, Art Mib: Antique, Handmade Banded Translucent Swirl Marble. Mint. 1/2" Maglite GreenMarbles: Hand Made Art Glass James Alloway Lite Green Marble #1875 2.1inch Boro Glass Marble (marbles) Route 66 Glass Works - Richard Hollingshead IiMarbles: Hand Made Art Glass James Alloway Dichroic Marble #1879 1.15inchHot 5/8" Christensen Agate Co Yellow/orange Flame Swirl Vintage Marble Mint 9.8