You probably have at least one or two loved ones who are famous for whipping up mouthwatering desserts for various gatherings (Psst: I’m that relative for my family!). Depending on how long they’ve been baking, they could have some antique dessert molds hiding away in their cabinets — and if they’re of the copper variety, they could earn you some serious cash!
These types of molds have been a mainstay for cooks and bakers for centuries. The experts at Collectors Weekly note that they were popularized during the Victorian Era (1837 to 1901) where they were used to make classic European dishes such as blancmange (a dairy-based gelatin dessert), savory chicken and ham pie, and cakes. These molds remained a common kitchen tool and were gaining traction in the US during the 20th century when Jell-O salads were a staple dish for dinner parties and holiday meals.
Collectors Weekly highlights that these molds are a favorite among antique collectors today because of their distinct reddish brown color. Also, they’re beloved for their ability to double as a decorative piece for your kitchen whether you place them on a high plate shelf or hang them on a wall.
Taking a closer look at the small details of an antique copper mold can give you an idea of how much it’s worth. Melinda Page, antiques writer for Country Living, points out that molds marked with manufacturer names such as Trottier along with Benham and Froud are estimated to be worth $500 and $600 respectively. However, this set of Victorian-era gelatin molds made by Benham and Froud once sold at an auction for $849 so you might get lucky and earn more than you expected!
Molds used for specific dishes can be valuable finds as well. Page mentions that molds designed to make a classic German yeast-based cake called Kugelhopf are particularly appealing finds. If the Kugelhopf mold dates back to the 1900s and is unmarked it can be worth about $200.
Page estimates if your antique copper mold features an eye-catching design, one of which she describes as having “two tiers of orderly ladyfinger-like columns,” then you might earn $600. This mold below made in France during the 19th century was sold online for $625 and features a shape that resembles ladyfingers.
Chatting with an appraiser in-person or online can give you an accurate idea of what your specific antique copper mold is worth. In the meantime, if you browse through eBay you’ll find a rare antique copper dessert mold going for up to $1,750. Also, a 1873 Royal Alfred Naval Anchor and Chain copper mold is currently being listed for $899.99.
So keep your eye out for a copper dessert mold in your family kitchens, but even if you don’t come across this nostalgic home baking gem, more common antiques like crystal glassware and ceramic pitchers can also earn you some extra cash!