Vintage Bakeware Collector’s Guide
Whip up an impressive assortment of collectibles!
Copper Pudding Molds
Gleaming and ornate, these fanciful casts originated in Europe in the 1700s and remained au courant through World War I. In England, “pudding” is a general term for desserts of all kinds, hence the term “pudding mold.”
- Kugelhopf Mold Used to bake a traditional German Kugelhopf—a yeasty cake containing raisins, nuts, and brandy—this pan has a beautiful swirl pattern called gadroons. Unmarked and from the early 1900s, it goes for $200.
- Trottier Mold This 1870s piece was made by the esteemed Trottier company of France. Its unusual form (the large open center was filled with fruits once the dessert was set) and prized maker’s mark give it a $500 value today.
- Benham & Froud Mold Resembling a toy castle, this item by England’s finest mold manufacturer displays medieval architectural details that were popular in the late 1800s. It now brings an estimate of $600.
- Three-Tiered Mold At 8 inches high, this unusually tall mold is topped with an eight-petaled flower. At the base there’s also a small heart, likely a symbol of the artist who made it. The late 1800s piece is worth $600.
- Unmarked French Mold A side view of this elaborate piece reveals two tiers of orderly ladyfinger-like columns associated with French mold design. Though unmarked, the exceptional construction and excellent condition merit a $600 price tag.
WHERE TO BUY Etsy
Springerle Cookie Molds
These intricate templates originated in Germany in the 14th century. (“Springerle” is German for “little knight.”) Many U.S. models are from the 1800s when the country saw an influx of German immigrants.
- Eight-Panel Mold The images on this piece depict traditional German icons, including edelweiss flowers and a pretzel. (Individual cookies were cut along the framed edges.) The circa- 1900 mold sells for $120. A similar version from the 14th century would go for several thousand.
- Nine-Panel Rolling Pin Carved from maple in the 1880s, this stunning rolling pin impressed nine tiny images celebrating the summer harvest into dough. This rare and wonderfully preserved springerle example is now worth $100.
- Two-Panel Mold This petite stamp has especially deep-set carvings that result in cookies with sharp, distinct designs. Because it was carved relatively recently—1940—it nets an estimate of $35.
WHERE TO BUY Heidelberg Haus, heidelberghaus.com
Aluminum Pie Tins
In the 1950s, mass-produced pies came in hefty aluminum pans instead of disposable foil plates. Graphic and affordable, they’re now a popular collectible—perfect for gracing kitchen walls.
- Py-O-My Tin Py-O-My, which produced baking mixes and crusts, advertised a free pie plate with the purchase of a Dutch Apple Cake mix. Though somewhat tarnished, the retro lettering gives it a value of $15.
- Bluebird Co. Tin This plate shows how a charming logo can up an item’s value. Embossed with a charming birdie, it’s worth $20, more than double that of the plate to the far right from the same company.
- Table Talk Tin Look closely: To the left of the word “crust” you’ll note the words “10c Deposit.” Table Talk bakeries offered an extra incentive for returning their tins in the form of a dime payment. Today the relic goes for $10.
WHERE TO BUY River House Designs, riverhousedesigns.etsy.com
In 1950, Nordic Ware introduced the Bundt and the term has since become synonymous with ring-shaped pans.
- Yellow Bundt Pan A Bundt pan was used to make the “Tunnel of Fudge” cake, which nabbed second place in the 1966 nationally broadcast Pillsbury Bake-Off. Sales subsequently soared. Made that very year, this golden one goes for $20.
- Blue Bundt Pan The original Bundt had a plain metal finish, and sales were so poor the company considered discontinuing. Instead, they introduced colors. A rare and desirable hue, this bright number is worth $25.
- Orange Tube Pan When the Bundt became a hit, many companies copied the design, often using cheaper materials. Instead of heavy cast aluminum, they were often made of thinner stamped aluminum, as is the case with this cheery orange version. Showing more age than its Nordic Ware cousins, it would sell for around $8.
WHERE TO BUY Sea of Turnips, seaofturnips.etsy.com
In the 1850s, American foundries moved beyond the famed skillet and debuted speciality pans that are still hot today.
- Heart & Stars Pan Griswold—considered the most desirable American maker because of the quality of iron—produced very few of these pans in the 1920s. Scarce today, the 7 ¾-inch pan fetches $1,000. A smaller and rarer 6 ½-inch version sells for as much as $2,400.
- Gem Pan In 1859 Bostonian Nathaniel Waterman patented this pan designed for turning out small decorative muffins. This 11-cup specimen is 150 years old and worth $100. (A similar pan with crisper lettering on the handles than the one shown would be worth up to 20% more.)
- Lidded Loaf Pan This rare piece is in pristine condition and boasts the coveted Griswold name, giving it an impressive $1,600 estimate. Dating to the 1930s, it produced sizzling meatloaf with the lid and puffy-topped bread loaves without.
WHERE TO BUY The Pan Handler, thepan-handler.com