My grand children and I had a lot of fun playing marbles.
Since they have grown out of it the marbles are somewhere in the garden now merely as decorative objects. I am still fascinated by Marbles.
The game of marbles is common all over the world. From archeological discoveries from Babylonian, Roman and Germanic times, we know that the game of marbles is very old. Marbles were found in the tombs of ancient Pharaohs. The oldest marbles originate from the period of about 3000 BC. The famous painting "Children's Games" by Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel,1560 shows children playing with marbles, Anno 1560.
Painting/Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Austria
The size, material and colours of the marbles were very different. However, real marbles were very expensive. In general real marbles were not affordable for the common people so children played with nuts. The production of glass marbles began in 1848 in the Thuringian city of Lauscha. A glassblower, Christoph Simon Karl Greiner invented a tool, called Marble scissors. This tool was actually made to cut glass eyes for stuffed animals but soon they started to produce marbles too. In September of 1848, Christoph Simon Karl Greiner was awarded a license for the exclusive production of artificial agate and gemstone beads.
Marbles from coloured clay were widespread in Europe. Today, marbles made from glass are most popular.The rules and options of the games with marbles are as numerous as the colors of the marbles. It is mainly played outdoors on firm ground, to make a fist sized hole and the start lines for the game, and the fun may begin.