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”)

Loetz.com

Loetz.com

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]

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]

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]

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]

Electronic Plastic

Electronic Plastic

From Tomy to Coleco to Mattel and Nintendo, check out this collection of over 660 handheld and tabletop videogames … [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 1928 Akro Agate Popeye Red Box #116 Marbles With Bag Akro Agate (54) Corkscrew Marbles - 9/16ths To 1 Inch (nm+) 062116-18 DmiVintage Antique Lot Of 33 German Swirl MarblesRare Vtg Peltier M Gropper & Sons Cerise Agates No 0 Box Of 25 Near Mint 0.580"+Banded Translucent 1880's Antique Marble#4815m Bulk Group Or Lot Of 40 Fancy Style Peltier Rainbo Swirl MarblesOne Nice Vintage Christensen Agate Cac Guinea Swirl Marble .. 21/32" .. #0626eWqw 2 Color Ribbon Lutz Antique Marble Vintage Antique Handmade German Swirl Marbles Lot Of 20Marbles: 4 Mint Akro Agate PopeyesJames Alloway Glass "portland Psychedelic" Marble #203 Dated 8-02 3 Inch Signed21 Antique Marbles Latticino, Swirl, Divided Core, Onionskin ~ All Played WithPeltier National Line Rainbo Golden Rebel Marble W/ Black Av-- .595"/mint 9.3Antique German Handmade Quad Ribbon Divided Core Marble 1.894" HugeAkro Agate 3-color Ace Eggyolk Cobalt Huge 63/64"Antique German Handmade Yellow Latticino Marble 2.049" Huge And MintWqw Beautiful Blue Banded Lutz Antique MarbleWqw Bright, Clean White Lutz Onion Skin Antique Marble3 Old Solitaire Boards 1 General Grant W/storage Drawer All 3 With Wooden FeetHuge Vintage Handmade German Onionskin Marble +- 2 & 3/16" Mint Minus Cond. Peltier Superman 5/8 Mint10 Akro Agate Lemonade Oxblood Marble Lot Florescent Corkscrew Nmint To MintMarbles: 4 German Handmade Indians Wood Box Full Of Old MarblesWqw 1880's 7/8" Shrunken Onionskin Antique Marble Yummy Green Melon Ball Antique MarbleJsg-justinsglass Jellyfish Marble Handmade Art/gift Hollow Boro Glass Marble (marbles) - Richard Hollingshead Ii Hollow MarbleHuge Vintage Handmade German Paneled Cloud Marble 2" Plus "nice" Polished?Vintage Rare Akro Agate Multi Color Hybrid Popeye Corkscrew Marble 3/4" And MintVintage Pre 1950's - German **onionskin** Swirl Marble *3/4" Handmade !! Marbles: Hand Made Art Glass Alloway Dichroic Gaffers Revenge #120 2.8inchVintage Box Akro Agate Marbles And Pouch 47 MarblesOld Marbles Corkscrews Popeyes Lemonade OxbloodAntique Handmade Ribbon Core Lutz Baby Blue On Blue Tinted Marble 7/8" And Mint~✿~ Marbles: Insane Vintage Christensen Agate Flame Marble~✿~ Snow White Solid Core, Handmade Antique Marble!Vintage Impressive Akro Agate Eggyolk Oxblood Marble 23/32" And MintMint Marbles Antique Mica Rare Color Red/pur/green /=pinched & Phascet & Double Antique Indian Swirl Marble N MintAkro Agate (16) Corkscrew Marbles - 5/8ths All Mint Minus 062116-20 Dmi Antique German Swirl Marble 1.45" ۩۩ Fisher 'master' 5" Large Jewel Tray! W/ Deep Cobalt Blue Marbles ~✿~ Akro Agate Purple Lavender & Yellow Popeye Corkscrew Marbles~✿~Black Lutz With Blue Bands & Gold Opaque Swirl 3/4" Antique Marble! Akro Agate (3) Popeye Marbles - 5/8ths All Mint Minus 062116-19 DmiJsg-justinsglass Flower Marble Handmade Art/gift Wald Glass Aventurine Lutz Glass 1.81" Northern Beauty Hand Made Marble Marbles = Akro Agate U V Fluorescent Lemonade Oxblood Corkscrew. 5/8"Group Of 8 Marbles 12mm To 26mm Candy Ribbon Core, Caged Handmade Antique Marble!(20) Oxblood Marbles (5) Are Mint Minus (15) Are Nm+ 062116-21 DmiWald Glass Marble Hand Made Aventurine Lutz 1.99" Quadra- SphereJames Alloway Glass Marble #548 Dated 6-03 3.13 Inch SignedPeltier Spiderman 5/8 Mint -!~!chocolate And Blue Ravenswood Swirl MarbleHandmade Marble German Sulphide Marble Bear Or Wolf? Big 1.52" Vintage Marble!Akro Agate Purple And Yellow Pop Eye Wet Mint With A Blue Line 3/4 Wqw Incredible! Onionskin Handmade Antique Marble!1.39" Handmade Marble Signed By ~ethan Lesch~ Borosilicate, Boro, Art, Mib