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    

{•{•Vintage Collect Marbles Akro Peltier Christensen Master Sparkler German Cork Nr!:--- Cobalt Latticino German 27/32" 1880's Antique Marble! Mint!10 Vintage Handmade Pee Wee Swirl Marbles Nice Lot No ReserveMarbles: N/mint 19/32 Peltier Hybrid Superman,golden Rebel, Spiderman 5 ColorsMarbles: Lot/ 6 Akro Agate Silver Oxblood, Lemon Oxblood & Limeades W/oxblood-:Lot Of Vintage Akro Agate Marbles Including Corkscrews, Popeye, & Superman!!1000+ Collector Marbles W/display Dome And Reference BooksMarbles -beautiful Rare Blue Opaque Lutz Marble 3/4"# Layered! Ribbon Handmade Antique 1880's 1 3/8" Marble #Japanese Lionfish & Little Fish Among Coral & Seaweed In Summer Sea Satake GlassJosh Simpson 1 7/8" Corona Nebula Planet Art Glass MarbleRaj Kommineni 1 3/4" Amazing Double Air Trapped Boro Art Glass MarbleAkro Agate Parrot Corkscrew !! Large Shooter !! #136Marbles: 11/16" Beautiful Akro Agate Hybrid Popeye Orange/yel/green/red Nr {•Marbles: 5/8" Beautiful Killer Pattern Vintage Peltier Superboy Swirl MintRare Antique German Clambroth Glass Marble Handmade Pre 1900 20mm .79in Pontil1935 Stevens Cowboy Miniature Cast Iron Cap Gun Nice Condition No ReserveWinlock Marbles ~ Contemporary Handmade Marble ~ Cory Anderson Glass Art MarblesLot Of Seventy Four Real Nice Vintage Marbles Akro, Peltier, Cristensen Agate,4 Akro Oxblood Marbles:{•Vintage Lot Of Peltier Marbles ***in Near Mint - To Near Mint Condition***Vintage Peltier Nlr Superman 19/32" Vibrant Colors * NiceVintage Arko Agate Leather Drawstring Marble BagCathy Richardson 2 1/8" Fish In Coral Reef In Deep Blue Ocean Art Glass MarbleBrett Young ~ Hot House Glass 1 3/4" Super Dichro Swirl Boro Art Glass MarbleSpiderman And Superman MarblesDusty Gamble #1115 | Handmade Lampwork Glass Marble | Earth, Stone, And Sky{•Vintage Mint- .623 Akro Double Red Green Yellow Popeye Hybrid Corkscrew MarblesMarbles: Christensen Multicolored Flames 5/8" MintOld Marbles 200 Vintage Mix Marble King Vitro Peltier Wv Swirls Akro Lot 6Nice Set Of Antique German Shooter Marbles- Onionskin, Latticinio, More{•Richard Hollingshead Ii Boro Glass Marble (marbles) Route 66 Glass WorksMarbles: Hand Made Art Glass James Alloway Dichroic Core Marble #1913 2.1inchKc Boro Glass Marble Multi Fumed Silver N Gold Clouds In Vortex 1 1/8"Antique German Lutz Clambroth Glass Marble Handmade Pre 1900 20mm 0.8in PontilKc Boro Glass Marble Multi Fumed Dichroic Rainbow Twister 1 1/8"Vintage Akro Superman Wet Mint .820 Or 13/16 Finest Ive Ever SeenPair Of Antique Pee Wee Onionskin Marbles ~ Nice Multi-colors ~ Rare Circa 1890Great Lot Of 500 +vintage Marbles Marbles: Hand Made Art Glass James Alloway Dichroic Rainbow Vortex#1921 3.3inchJosh Simpson Planet Art Glass Marble 1&3/8" Paperweight9 German Marbles***indian * Onionskins * Yellow Latticino ****(mint To Akro Agate Superman Marbles Marbles: Mint 11/16 Akro Agate Sparkler 5 ColorsMarbles: Hand Made Art Glass James Alloway Dichroic Cane Quadmania#176 1.8inch2 Lrg Antique German Hand Made Marbles Sulfide Lion & Onionskin?Lutz Antique German Milk Clambroth Glass Marble Hand Made Pre 1900 19mm .76in NrMarbles: 11/16" Beautiful Superman Wicked Pattern Swirl Wet Mint ConditionAntique Lutz German Color Glass Mica Marble Hand Made Pre 1900 0.7in 19.5mm VtgWinlock Marbles ~ Contemporary Handmade Marble ~ Cory Anderson Glass Art MarblesDusty Gamble #1111 | Handmade Lampwork Glass Marble | Lightspeed Arcade