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    

Rare Antique Copper Pudding Mold/food MouldLarge Antique Dip Pen Nib Chocolate Tin Mould Senez Sturbelle Anton Reiche BoxBrown Bag Cookie/craft Mold '03 Sleeping Fairy Rare - Hard To FindBrown Bag Cookie Art Cat With Ice Cream Cone Htf Mold Stone/clay 1983 1st YearAntique & Large Chocolate Mold, Cast, Blimp/zeppelin "anton Reiche Dresden" RareGriswold Cast Iron Santa Mold - Not The Reprodution Version!Antique Metal Chocolate Mold By Letang - Santa On His Sleigh - Made In FranceGood Antique Copper Jelly Mold/food Mould/ring MouldNos Brown Bag 2002 Tea & Cookies Cookie, Paper, Craft, Chocolate & Art/wax MoldAnton Reiche Schokoladenformen Chocolate Mold Book Copy 40 PagesDovetails! 6" French Antique Hammered Copper Mold Charlotte Cake Pan Jelly Rare!Shiny! 6.25" Italian Hammered Copper Mold Dessert Jelly Ice Cream Bake Cake Pan Chocolate / Ice Cream Pewter Mold / Santa Going Down Chimney #3 Chocolate / Ice Cream Pewter Mold / Stocking #23Brown Bag Friendly Bugs Cookie, Paper, Chocolate & Art/wax MoldBrown Bag Spotted Butterfly Cookie, Paper, Chocolate & Art/wax MoldAntique Butter Mold W/ Fleur De Lis Pattern - Mint! Brown Bag Design Santa Kitten Cookie, Paper, Craft,& Art Mold Plus Art BookAntique Vintage Halloween Cast Iron Candy Mold #139 Witch On Broomstick Minnie Mouse Full Body Metal Cake Pan Baking Mold Wilton Disney Character 1998Stunning! 6" Italian Hammered Copper Mold Dessert Jelly Ice Cream Bake Cake PanBrown Bag Cactus Moon Cookie Mold 2001Brown Bag Tea Pot Cookie Mold 2002 Antique 1850s Cast Iron Candy Chocolate Food Mold With BlacksmithNos Brown Bag 2002 Cookie Bone , Paper, Craft, Chocolate & Art/wax MoldBrown Bag 2002 Blossom Heart Cookie, Paper, Chocolate & Art/wax Mold58 Aluminum Jello Dessert Candy Mini Molds Pans Various StylesAntique Tin Chocolate Mold With Easter Bunny Rabbit Riding DogBrown Bag Gingerbread Girl Cookie, Paper, Chocolate & Art/wax MoldAntique Metal Chocolate Mold - St Nicholas/santa ClausBrown Bag Cookie Art Prairie Flowers American Folk Art Series No. 1 1991 MoldAntique Metal Chocolate Mold - Small Bird With Folded WingsBrown Bag Cookie Art Shortbread Mold: Christmas Holiday 1994Vintage Christmas Tree Metal Candy Chocolate Mold Wilton 1974Lot Of 7 Brown Bag Cookie Molds Holidays Christmas Easter ValentinesVintage Copper Rooster Mold-tin Lined. Pb61996 Hill Design Brown Bag Cookie Art Turkey Cookie MoldAntique Metal Chocolate Mold - Scottish Laddie - Anton Reiche 1931Antique Metal Chocolate Mold - Startled Sitting Up Rabbit - EppelsheimerAntique Metal Chocolate Mold - Scottish Lass - Anton Reiche 1934Antique Tin Mold Jello Or Butter Mold Primitive Kitchen Decor Rare Vintage German Copper Clad Mold - Aus Liebe24 Vintage Aluminum Molds Fluted Bundt Baking Tart Cake Craft TinsDst Slimer Jello Mold, Used Very Good ShapeAntique Pewter Ice Cream, Butter, Candy MoldVintage Miniature Butter Mold Flower Stamp W/free ShippingAntique Pewter Ice Cream, Butter, Candy MoldAntique Pewter Ice Cream, Butter, Candy MoldVintage Miniature Wood Butter Mold With StarEarly Copper Tin Lined Round Food / Jelly Mold ~ Fruits ~ Fluted Edge Early Copper Tin Lined Food / Jelly Mold ~ Grape Cluster Antique Pewter Ice Cream, Butter, Candy MoldAntique Pewter Ice Cream, Butter, Candy MoldEarly Copper Food / Jelly Mold ~ Haley's Comet ~ Czechoslovakia Four Vintage Copper Kitchen Molds –shell, Moon, Lobster & Rooster –made In KoreaVintage Tupperware Ice Tups Popsicle Maker Freezer Mold Complete Set 6 Free ShipVintage Nordic Ware Double Rosette & Timbale Iron With 6 Molds 6 Brown Bag Molds Farm Animals Cow Sheep Pig Bear Duck One Owner Cookie Art Vintage Hand Carved Wooden Rolling Pin With 12 MoldsVintage Double Set Rosette & Star Timbale Iron Cookie Patty Shell Form 2 Molds/