believe it or not, they could be clay marbles.
Clay marbles were made in both Germany and the United States. It has been reported that Clay marbles were used as ballast in the keels of ships that sailed to America from Germany, and were then removed and sold in this country. On the American side, some of the earliest U.S. marble-related patents are for devices that fashion blobs of clay into round spheres, which were then fired to harden them.
Clay marbles are usually found in their natural tan color, but they may also be dyed. The dyed marbles are usually found in red, blue, brown, green or yellow. Colored Clay marbles were referred to as “polished”. Foil clays are small (usually less than 1/2” diameter) Clays with a metallic coating on them. These were produced in Germany after the turn of the twentieth century and are usually found in Mosaic games.
They could also be musket balls of some sort, but those were usually made of lead. I wonder if you took it to the Museum of Natural History if they could help you identify what they are.
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