Monday, August 25, 2008
Molds Can Mean Something Other Than Dough
I have found that some of the best treasures you can come across in your search are those that had very little value when they were produced. This brings to mind items used in early kitchens such as butter, cake and candy molds. These have become very popular collectibles and can often bring a nice piece of change.
Most butter molds are made of wood or porcelain - with the largest percentage of them being from the very early days, being wooden with a circular base. These can be very decorative on the outside of the base, having been carved from a single piece of wood. The base is drilled out so that the inner dimensions will be the size of the butter mold you are forming. The top has a hole drilled through it so that the press can be put in place (this is a circular piece of wood that equals the inner dimension of the base and is where a common mold is separated from an expensive one.) The bottom of the press has a design carved in it and the more intricate the design, the more collectible and expensive the value of the mold. The mold has a rod passed through the base and attached to the press. This allows the inside of the base to be packed with butter and when the rod is forced through the base a formed cake of butter comes out the other end. The design on the bottom of the press is now formed on top of the butter cake. I have seen these molds bring over $500 and it is entirely possible that there have been ones that have sold for much more.
Another great mold collected today is the cake mold. They can be produced from several different materials however, the ones that I have come in contact with the most often are the Griswold Santa, Rabbit and Lamb molds made from cast iron. I have owned several of these and each time I find one it means that I get to ring the cash register again. The best one that I every found was the Santa mold, unused and still in the original box. I bought it for $200 at a farm auction and sold for a little more than $1,000. As a standard rule, if I can buy the Santa for under $300 I do, and likewise the rabbit for $125 or less and the lamb at $25 or less. There is a steady market for these molds.
Last, but not least, are the candy molds. These are the ones that I know the least about. However, if you can find the old tin ones I see in auctions, they sell quite well. I think you will find that these also sell at prices that are determined by the design. Like the cake molds, candy Santa's should be at the top of the desirability list. These are also produced in solid metals and have been reproduced in recent years. I have seen molds used in the candy factories where there were multiple molds within in one mold and they seem to be one of the collector’s favorites.
All of these items should be included in your list of collectibles that can be profitable and meet the buying criteria we encourage for members of the 31 Club. If you have a sweet tooth, you may even want to try one out before selling it.
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