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    

Antique Primitive Springerle Shortbread Mold Man On A Horse Wood Hand CarvedLarge Antique 5" Wide Wood Woodenware Cow Design Butter Mold No ReserveBrown Bag Cookie Stoneware Mold - Witch And Cat - 8 1/2"Antique Tin Santa Chocolate 2 Sided Mold 7"x4.5"Rare Antique Large 10" Santa Chocolate Mold With Star HatLot Of Antique Vintage Primitive Butter MoldsRare Reiche Man & Woman Rabbit Dressed In Street Clothes Chocolate Mold Williams-sonoma Marvel Comics Super Hero Nordic Ware Cake Mold Pan New Metal Chocolate Molds - Anton Reiche Hinged Rabbit With 2 Santa MoldsRare Old German Figural Court Jester Chocolate Mold Mould 10" Tall Jester #3707Very Rare Antique Pewter Ice Cream Mold Oyster Plate Dish E & Co NyVintage Griswold Cast Iron Lamb Cake Mold 866, 921, 922 ExcellentRare Early Antique Bicycle & Rider Chocolate Mold - Keuter & Co. AmsterdamRare Early Antique Violin Bow Chocolate Mold - # 10032 Anton Reiche Dresden Vintage Retro Tupperware Lot Seal Serve Bowls Jello Mold Pastel Cups Mugs LidsLarge Vintaged Primitive Cake Mold Tin Lined Very Old Heavy Copper Hand ForgedVintage American Chocolate Mold Co New York Candy Metal Lions Clowns Bears Lambs Swiss Springerle Large Cookie Mold Handmade Bouquet Of Flowers CircularAntique S&co. N.y #178 Cat In Shoe Boot Pewter Ice Cream Mold - Beautiful! #577Antique E&co N.y Artichoke ? Water Lily Pewter Ice Cream Mold - Beautiful! #5723 Brown Bag Cookie Molds Beehive(1992) Teapot(1998) Christmas Tree(1986)Old German Figural Bears Chocolate Mold Mould 6 Bear Flat Mold 3 3/4" Tall #9698Rare Vintage Chocolate Mold 5 Santa's Mold Tray 7'x3"x1/2"Rocking Rabbit 1995 Brown Bag Cookie Mold Hill Design Vintage Pewter Lily Ice Cream MoldAntique E&co. N.y #645 Chicken Rooster Pewter Ice Cream Mold - Beautiful! #576Early Wild Boar Chocolate Mold # 46Antique Vintage Vormenfabriek Holland Large Metal Chocolate Candy Mold 108 LargeVintage Pewter Ice Cream Mold -- Heart And Love -- Krauss Co. Of Milford, PaVintage Pewter "ear Of Corn" Ice Cream MoldLarge Antique Shaw Stechow Card Party Ice Cream Mold For Individual Slices #589John Wright Cast Iron Clear Toy Candy Mold Sets--set Of Two (4 Pieces)Vintage 1989 Wilton Super Mario Brothers Nintendo Game Cake Pan Mold 2105-2989Antique E&co N.y #427 German Santa Christmas Pewter Ice Cream Mold Beautiful 587Antique 4 1/2" #376 Pewter Ice Cream Mold Diamond Engagement Ring GcFrench Copper Drouant Dutch Oven With Lid Cookware By ChristofEarly Antique Cane Chocolate Mold -# 10022Rare Antique / Vintage 1800's Wooden "maltese Cross" Butter Stamp / Mold - L@@kPrimitive Antique Vintage Leaf Wooden Wood Butter MoldAntique 2" #305 Pewter Ice Cream Mold Fluted Dishthree Piece/double Hinge VgcAntique Primative 6 Figure Wood Butter Chocolate Candy Mold Chicken Cat Birds + Vintage Hand Carved Wood Cookie Mold Man 17 3/4 - 6 1/2 LargePittsburgh Steelers Pfaltzgraff Cookie Mold; Perfect Game Day Cookies!Antique E&co. N.y #1143 Roadster Car Model A ? Ford Pewter Ice Cream Mold #571Vintage Pewter Grape Ice Cream MoldAntique E&co. N.y #270 Corn On The Cobb Pewter Ice Cream Mold - Beautiful! #57819 Vintage Aluminum Jello Mini Cake Pan Molds 4 Different SizesLovely Country Wood Butter Mold Press With 8 Point Star Stamp Ec No ReserveAntique & Rare Metal Ice Cream Mold - Horse With Jockey No. 271 And S & Co Rare Primitive Antique 1800s Earthenware Kitchen Mold Squirrel Nice OldAntique Copper Tin Jello Mold 10" DiamVintage Tupperware Lot Jello Mold Pickle Keeper Vegetable Steamer Liquid CanisteLot Of Wilton Cake Pans Molds Barney Care Bears Oscar Mickey Mouse Sesame StreetAntique Ironstone Food Molds Set Of 9 Germany Waechersbach Flower ShapeAntique 19th C Pottery "rose Flower " Jelly MouldAntique Pewter Flag Ice Cream Mold (e & Co., New York)Vtg Old German Figural Easter Rabbits Chocolate Mold Mould Hinged 3 Rabbit MoldAntique E&co. N.y #590 Argyle Sock Leg Pewter Ice Cream Mold - Beautiful! #573Antique E&co. N.y #992 Naked Baby Cherub Pewter Ice Cream Mold - Beautiful! #574Lot Of 3 Antique Primitive Wooden Butter Molds