Molds (or moulds, as it is also spelled) were popular during the Victorian Era, when dishes such as savory chicken-and-ham raised pie, sherry-infused calf’s-feet jelly, and sweet, palate-cleansing blancmange were all the rage. Copper molds were the preference of well-heeled cooks; tin molds in shapes with names like Solomon’s Temple were found in humbler kitchens.

For collectors, copper molds are perhaps the most appealing. When not in use, these handsome, stamped, and castellated containers make wonderful decorative objects for the kitchen, either on a high plate shelf or just hung on a wall. Copper molds in shapes ranging from fish to turtles to lions were often tinned on the inside and designed for everything from jellies to cakes.

Tin was even more versatile. Madelines, teacakes, and petit fours were baked in small, stamped-tin “patty pans,” while tinned molds with removable sides were used for raised pies. Brioche molds with fluted sides are still used today, as are pudding molds, which feature lids that snap tight to keep heat in and moisture out during steaming.

Mid-19th-century cooks also used ceramic molds, such as those made out of Wedgwood creamware or a more common form of earthenware known as ironstone, which was glazed a gleaming white and produced by numerous Staffordshire potteries. In the early 20th century, Joseph Bourne & Son was known for a variation of this kitchenware called Denbyware.

Another form of ceramic mold was designed for cookies and gingerbread. To use these molds, a cook would press dough into the top of the mold, whose inside would leave an impression of a gingerbread man or perhaps Santa Claus on the outside of the cookie. The practice was so prevalent during the holidays that molds became synonymous with Christmas and the tasty tradition of baking Christmas cookies. Those who celebrate Easter also embraced molds, especially when it was time to make mass quantities of homemade chocolate bunnies and eggs.

In the United States, one of the biggest proponents of the mold was Jell-O, which gave away small aluminum molds with their brand stamped into the bottom to encourage cooks to use its products. At the heavier end of the mold spectrum was Griswold, whose cast-iron cake molds included depictions of Santa, the Easter bunny, and a peaceful lamb. In between were thinner metal molds whose mottled gray and cobalt surfaces are known as graniteware. These were used for making everything from cakes to steamed puddings.

Finally, wooden molds were used to produce maple-sugar candies. Classic shapes included animals like horses and beavers, as well as moons and hearts. The molds typically consisted of two mirror-image sides that had been hand carved. The sides would be pegged tightly together, filled from the bottom, and then left to set up before being carefully pried apart.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Feeding America

Feeding America

This archive of 76 influential American cookbooks from the late 1700s to early 1900s, assembled by the Michigan St… [read review or visit site]

Tupper Diva

Tupper Diva

Kristian McManus’ fresh, airtight collection of Tupperware catalogs and related ephemera from the 1950s and 6… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Nordic Ware Banana Bread Pan Cake Loaf Mold Palm Trees Bananas 6 Cups 1.4 LitersGiant Rare German Antique Rabbit /bunny Chocolate Mold 20" TallAntique Cast Iron Lamb Cake/candy Mold ~ Rare Foot Forward ~ GermanyVintage 2639 Walter Alte Schokoladenform Form Schokolade Chocolate Mold MouleHuge Antique Christmas Holly Berries Chocolate Candy Mold *Aluminum Fishing Mold Melting Pot Shooting Star Plastic Mixer Includes InjectorVintage Griswold Lamb #866 Cast Iron Mold Baking Pan With Original Box19th Century Redware Cornbread MoldAntique Cast Iron Metal Double Bunny/rabbits Hinged Candy Mold Chocolate, EasterLarge Antique Four Rabbit Easter Chocolate Candy Mold / Form *Antique Benham & Froud Copper Jelly Mold No. 477, Gothic DesignVintage 5306 Walter Alte Schokoladenform Form Schokolade Chocolate Mold MouleVintage Hen/chicken In Basket Chocolate Mold Eppelsheimer Mold 7"19th Century Carved Swan Butter MoldWilton Classic Wonder Mold Doll Dress Skirt Cake Pan 2001 Teen Doll Picks BlondeVintage Cast Iron Griswold Lamb Cake Mold No 8663 Vintage Metal 3d Candy Molds 1-vormenfabriek Tilburg HollandLarge Antique Cage Rabbit Candy Mold *5 Antique Pewter Ice Cream Molds Of FruitsVintage Large Lot Rosette Cookie Iron Molds Cast Aluminum Iron Holiday Dippers Jingle Cat~brown Bag Cookie Art~hill Design 1995~cookie MoldAntique Anton Reiche Dresden Candy Mold Shell Form *American Chocolate Mould Co., Inc. Antique Mold Catalog Eppelsheimer Warren BrosAntique Van Emden Rabbit Bunny Chocolate Mold Made In GermanyVintage Hand Carved Wooden Folk Art Cookie Molds 21" Man And WomenVintage 5-piece Metal Chocolate Mold Circus Animal Elephant Old Tin AntiqueGood Shape Original Antique 1800s Victorian Copper Jelly Mould No 410 Good OrderNordic Ware Double Rosette & Timbale Iron Maker VintageLarge Lot 60 Vintage Tin Mini Molds Jello Tart Cake Cookie Soap Candle MakingBrown Bag Cookie Art Tile Set, Happy Birthday,halloween,christmas,valentineVintage Jell-o MoldsRare-oop-1994-brown Bag Cookie Art- Angel/trumpet-papermaking Mold-christmasVintage Lodge Cast Iron Stars Mold Pan 10as2 Baking Casting Metal Ingot StarBrown Bag Designs Shortbread Cookie Pan - Hearts And Flowers 19881950s Ray Products Ice Nudes Novelty Ice Cube Molds In Original BoxVintage Green Tupperware Jello Mold 1202-1 9" With Lid 1203-2Antique Vintage Metal Chocolate Candy Mold - Christmas Tree Alfred Anderson Minneapolis Cast Iron Wafer Press Cookie Mold PlateSet Of 2 Vintage Clear Tupperware Popsicle Freezer Molds Complete9 Vintage Miniature Tin Candy Molds11 Vintage Aluminum Jello Mini Molds Heart Shaped Cake Tart Pan Tin 3.5"Small Vtg Oval Copper Cake Mold Jello Jelly 4 3/8" X 6 5/8" X 2 1/8"21 Vintage Aluminum Molds~jello-baking-crafting-retro Kitchen Cottage Chic TinsMelon Shaped Copper Cake Pan Jell-o Gelatin Mold Or Kitchen DecorationVintage Lot 9 Jello Mini Cake Pans Molds Aluminum Fluted Swirl Soaps CandiesTupperware Vintage Jello Jel-n-serve Mold Lot - 9 PiecesVintage Tupperware Popsicle Pop Ice Tups Maker Mold Set White Tray. Instruction Metal Aluminum Individual Swirl Bundt Molds - Gelatin Cake Dessert Candy SoapAntique Pewter Ice Cream Mold E & Co. #1081 Shriner MaskAntique Pewter Chocolate / Ice Cream Mold 2 Hinge Basket #471 4" X 3"Tupperware Bowl Jello Mold With 3 Interchangeable Designs Vintage 5 Pieces LidsE-z Foil Super Aluminum Christmas Cookie Mold Pans New Nip Vintage Tupperware Pudding Jello Cups Mold Lot 24 PiecesSet Of 35 Metal Mini Jello Candy Molds 1.75 Inch Size Good ConditionSet Of 6 Vintage Individual Aluminum Jello MoldsLot 20: Pampered Chef Decorative Stoneware Cookie Molds X2, New In BoxCookie Cutter Hallmark Cards Squirrel Animal Shape Press Mold Plastic 19868 Pcs Set - Round With Leaf Markings Jello Dessert Chocolate Plastic Mold New Brown Bag Cookie Art Mold With Recipe Book Birthday CakeVintage Aluminum Jello Mold/ice Ring 6 1/2 "