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    

No Reserve Victorian Benham And Froud Copper Jelly Mould Vintage AntiqueAafa Tin Father Christmas Belsnickle St Nicholas Santa Chocolate Mold Lot Wood & Resin Springerle Cookie Mold Christmas Old World Santa W/ Goodies Vintage Antique Santa Claus & Christmas Tree Chocolate Mold Christmas Candy House On The Hill Wood Resin Springerle Cookie Mold Christmas Nativity Epiphany Rare Antique Reiche Chocolate Mold - Large With 3 Rabbits.Antique German Laurosch Santa Claus Chocolate / Ice Cream Mold With Maker's MarkSpringerle Stamp Press Cookie Mold 12 Prints House On The Hill -sbAafa Eleven Santa In Sleigh With Christmas Tree Toys & Reindeer Chocolate MoldVintage Carved Wood Springerle Cookie Mold W 6 Fields - Heart Stag Bird Swan9 Antique Vintage Kalkus Hirco Rosette IronsAafa Tin Father Christmas Belsnickle St Nicholas Santa Tree Chocolate Mold 9 PcsAntique Chocolate Mold Lovely Bavarian Dressed Bunny With Her Son.Antique Chocolate Mold, Victorian Boy With Wooden Toy Horse Anton Reiche. Springerle Floral Shortbread Butter Cookie Clay Paper Cast Stamp Press Mold Antique Chocolate Mold Bunny Pushing Egg Pram With Young Bunny With Her Son.Vtg Antique 30s 40s Springerle Rolling Pin 15 Pattern Molds Bakelite Cutters NrVintage Tin Chocolate Mold - Christmas Santa Claus With Present BagMagnificent Antique Christmas Chocolate Mold Children Riding SledAntique Tin Santa Chocolate MoldAntique German Anton Reiche Chocolate Tin Candy Bake Mold Krampus Devil W ChainsAntique Vintage Cupid Surrounded With Rabbits Egg Chocolate Mold. Very Rare Brown Bag Wildflowers Shortbread Cookie Art Mold 1988 Hill Design NewLot (3) Of Vintage Copper Clad Jello Molds Wall HangerVintage Easter Bunny Rabbit Molds Primitive Country Decorations Vintage Ice Cream Mold - Zeppelin Air ShipAntique Tin Santa Chocolate MoldVintage Sandbakkel Set Ekte Norsk 15 Lot Metal Tart Molds In BoxVintage Pig Chocolate Mold Metal Two Piece WienAntique Ice Cream Mold, Santa's Elf Or Gnome, Keutter Amsterdam SignedSwiss Carved Wood Springerle Cookie Or Butter Mold Moon And Stars Motif HangableBrown Bag Cookie Art Shortbread Pan Mold Scottish Thistle 1990 Hill DesignLot Of 32 Vintage & New Aluminum Tins Jello Molds, Mini Bundt Cakes, TartsMartha Stewart By Mail Octagon Layer Cake Pan/mold SetVintage Wooden Christmas Feather Tree Springerle Cookie MoldThe Pampered Chef Cookie Mold Gingerbread HouseVintage Rosette Cookie Irons~handle & 3 Molds~butterfly, Flower, Suit Of CardsSmall Wooden German Springerle Cookie Mold Butterfly CornucopiaJohn Wright Cast Iron Christmas Teddy Bear Candy MoldSandbakkels (ekte Norsk) Set , New In Tin , Label From S&l Co. For .98 Cents!Radiant Star Christchild Christ Child House On The Hill Christmas Cookie MoldBrown Bag Cookie Shortbread Mold Pan W/ Animals Cow Horse Birds Sheep MoreLot Of 12 Vtg Metal Tart Pans Tins Molds Brioche Mini Quiche Soap Nice!Vintage Birth Gramm Sitting Bunny Rabbit Copper Tin Mold Switzerland Estate FindWilton Walt Disney Minnie Mouse Cake Pan Mold #515-809 Vintage Tupperware 6 Piece Jel-n-serve Jello Molds & Serving TrayAntique Griswold? Cast Iron Santa Claus Cake MoldMartha Stewart Butter And Sugar Mold And Cookie Cutters Of BugsPrimitive Antique Wooden Kitchen Utensil Lot Butter Mold Rolling Pin Chopper Antique Chocolate Mold, Rare Looking Cornucopia. Vintage Christmas Santa Claus Metal Tin Chocolate Candy Double Mold W/ ClipsMixed Lot Shell Mold Cast Iron Aluminum Scandinavian Rosettes Flower Circle House On The Hill Replica Cookie Mold Victorian ChristmasPampered Chef Gingerbread House Kit #1800 Stoneware W/ Piping Bag & Instr ~ NibCopper Tin Bundt Cake Pan - Intricate Mold, Christian WagnerVintage Traditional Ginger Bread House Double Sided Cast Iron Mold-john WrightMetal Fluted Tart Tartlet Pastry Candy Soap Tins Molds Pans Mini Set Of 26Vintage Silver King Hostess Waf-l-ette Patty Shell Molds Rosette Irons HandlesBrown Bag Cookie Art Molds Lot Of 7 Used18 Vintage Sandbakkel Tins ~ Aluminum ~ 3 Designs ~ Nice