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 Victorian Copper Jelly Mould Or Mold Number 202 Vgc Benham & Froud ??? Anton Reiche Halloween Witch Chocolate Mold Nr!C1880 Antique Victorian Benham & Froud Copper Jelly Mould Mold Number 480 Vgc. Anton Reiche Santa Chocolate MoldWagner Ware No. 1 Handled Gem Pan Brass Sand Mold? Not Cast IronSet 4 Oriental Buddah Mould - Jelly Chocolate Plaster Candle Soap Strong PlasticGriswold Combination Patty Mold Set In Original Box With Cast Iron Bowl 72 Antique Copper Jelly Mould Mold Ml Soult 12-mold Pastry/cookie Roller | House On The Hill 1998 | Flowers Farmer Peacock +Four Vintage Victorian Copper Food Molds English ? All Very NiceAntique Santa Claus Metal Candy Cake Mold Hinged 3 Santa Clauses In A RowAnton Reich Laughing Cat Chocolate / Food MoldPea Pod Pewter Ice Cream Mold # 293 AntiqueGriswold Santa Claus Cake MoldSuperb Antique French Pierced Metal Round Cheese Mould Moule A Fromage Copper Pig Mold Cake Jello Kitchen Wall Hanging Vtg Tin Lined RareAntique Dogs Candy Mold / Ice Cream Mold V.clad & Sons Philadelphia PaSpringerle Carved Wood Cookie Press Stamp Mold Christmas Stocking Ornament Vintage Antique Primitive Wooden Butter Mold, Dovetail JointsAnton Reich Elephant Chocolate / Food MoldAntique Wagner Ware, Sidney Ohio Cast Iron Baking Mold 1/2 Stick Nordic Ware Farm Tractor Cake Pan Mold Cast Aluminum Non Stick 9 Cups 2.1 LGriswold Patty Mold Set #2 With Deep Pattern Heart And Circle Molds #2 In BoxVintage Hirco Rosette Butterfly Tart Waffle Molds AluminumVintage Tupperware Jello Mold Lot 1970's Tupperware Mid Century Jello Retro ModNew Bento Lunch Box Accessory Vegetable Ham Cheese Cookie Moulds 10pcs Vintage Griswold Cast Iron Brownie Cake Pan - No 9, 947 - Golf Ball Muffin MoldAntique Wood Butter MoldJohn Wright Cast Iron Corn Bread Fish Molds 3 MoldsLot Of 6 Vintage Copper, Aluminum Jello Molds With HangersVintage Griswold Cast Iron Patty Molds Patty Shells Waffle Set W/ Handles & BoxNew Brown Bag Cookie Mold Recipe Book American Folk Art Series No 2 MeadowlarkVintage 1900's H Walter Berlin Van Emden Candy Co Chocolate Mold Made In Germany Lot Of Three Tupperware Jel Ring Mold Jello Free ShippingSpringerle Cookie Mold By The Laxa Family *the Bassist* 9x4Lot Of 30 Various Vintage Metal - Aluminum Jello Molds - Sea Shell - HeartsDisney Brown Bag Cookie Mold Mickey & Minnie Mouse6 - Vintage Copper Jello Cake Molds Great Kitchen Wall Decor Wear-everTupperware Jello Ring Mold Gelatin Mint ConditionVintage Aluminum Kitchen Lot Of 11 Coffee Measuring Cup Mold A&j Hand MixerAntique Dutch Wooden Cookie Mold Iron Framed Hand Carved Primitive SpringerleVery Nice Vintage Pewter Figural Cow ? Or Similar Type Of Chocolate Mold #168Vintage Beraducci Bros. Cast Aluminum Pizzelle Waffle Maker Mold 110wrVintage-complete Box(36) Of Mormatt #b 212 Tart Tins(sweden)1988 John Wright Cast Iron 6 Dinosaurs Muffin Cupcake Baking Mold/pan EucVintage Wood Butter Stamp Mold Leaves Berries + Border ~ 1 Inch1998 Wilton Cake Pan Hot Lips 2105-2035 W/insert Instruction Kiss Mold GucVintage Lot 10 Tart, Chocolate Molds Fluted Pastry Tin Metal Collectible1996 Teapot Cut-apart Brown Bag Cookie Art MoldLarge Earth Angel Cookie Mold, Beeswax, Paper Casting Christmas Holiday Rare! Antique Pewter Ice Cream Mold,victorian "berry Cup" Marked # 140 Great DetailWilliams Sonoma 3d Nordic Ware Beehive Cake Pan Non Stick Mold Insect Pooh Bees11 Vtg Metal Aluminum Tin Mold Baking Mini Shell Bake Cake Cups & Scallop CutterPrimitive-antique-vintage Wooden 3" Round, Leaf Design Butter Stamp Mold PressSmall Used Vintage Wooden Butter Stamp Press MoldAntique Wooden Butter Mold Lotus Flower Design Wood Vintage Primative DiyComplete Vintage Tupperware Ice Tups Popsicle Maker Molds Sheer WhiteFace With Bonnet Pewter Ice Cream Mold E & Co. # 958 Antique EppelsheimerWilton Tropical Fish Gold Fish Cake Pan Jello Mold Cakepan BakingAntique Blue Enamel Mold From Austria C1930 / Cake Jelly