Money Maker: Antique Metal Molds
Like I mentioned, I’ve known for awhile that antique chocolate molds are collectible, but that’s about all I knew. So here’s what I discovered after buying a bunch of them…
First off, not all old molds are for chocolate. A few of the molds I bought were pewter, and actually meant for ice cream. Fancy rich people in the Victorian era used to have their ice cream molded into festive shapes for parties. Each guest would be served an adorable mini ice cream, all dolled up to look like Santa or a President or even other foods (vegetables mainly). Here is one of the ice cream molds I bought:
The outside of the mold said “E & Co.” which I soon found out meant Eppelsheimer Company, one of the earliest mold manufacturers. This was a good thing, because signed molds are generally more valuable. This Santa dated to 1890!
The chocolate molds I bought were thinner and not made of pewter. Most of them were 2-piece molds. One of the most interesting I found was this tiny Pope mold:
I almost didn’t buy this mold because of the rust on it, but one of the men running the sale mentioned that he had never seen a Pope mold before. I bought it for $5, which turned out to be TOTALLY worth it. This little guy is made by Joh. Fohn, which is apparently pretty rare because I can hardly find anything about that company online. I do know that it is German and pretty darn old.
I had a lot of people asking me questions about the Joh. Fohn mold and whether its sides matched up well. Turns out that this is super important in mold collecting. Molds should close up snugly and all edges should align, otherwise the value decreases drastically.
Another tip in mold collecting is that the larger and heavier a mold is, the more valuable. I found this out with my most favorite mold from this sale. It is a super large Santa that weighs 3 pounds!
The heavy hinge, along with clamps that kept the mold shut tight, made this piece the most collectible. It didn’t even have a maker’s mark, but its size and girth were enough. It also helped that the mold had such impressive detail inside. Reading about molds online made me realize that the more detail, the more desirable.
I bought this mold for $30, which made me nervous at the time. It ended up selling for $177! I could not be more thrilled, obviously. Here’s how all of the mold auctions went:
OK, so before one of you tries breaking into my house and stealing all of the cash I made on these, just know that the proceeds were used to buy George the otterhound.
I also used some of it to get my very first tattoo, a rabbit on my right forearm, which I may or may not be disowned by my parents for.
That’s it in progress. Also, I was totally THAT PERSON who wore a rabbit shirt while getting a rabbit tattoo. UGH.