by Dr. Lori Verderame
Candy molds and chocolate molds as we know them originated in France in the early 1800s. These early molds were stamped sheets of metal which were used to mold chocolate into plain geometric shapes like squares and triangles. Some of the other early mold shapes were animals, human figures, objects, etc. One problem with these early sheet metal molds was that the thin pieces of sheet metal would tear whenever an intricate form was stamped into it. To improve the durability of these early molds, a sturdy wooden frame was attached to the metal mold form. These framed molds called “flats” helped candy makers produce multiple, uniform candy forms.
Another problem with early candy molds was the fact that the candy would adhere or stick to the inside of the mold. By the mid 1850s, molds were coated in a special silver wash on the inside and later, a layer of tin was used. These processes helped the candy come out of the mold as a perfectly shaped candy piece. In time, stamped sheets of copper were used as candy molds. Antique candy molds ranged in size from 1 inch to 18 inches and large candy molds from the 19th Century can be worth big sums of money.
Types of Candy Molds
Three dimensional metal candy molds were introduced in the 1800s. In order to make a piece of candy in three dimensions, a double mold was used. The double molds were two sided hinged molds with a front form and a back form.
Some molds were made of Staffordshire pottery and other ceramics. Some molds were made of wood and held together to set using pegs. Famous makers of candy molds also impact the market like Anton Reiche whose molds hold good value. However most antique candy molds were made of metal. By the mid 1900s, metal candy molds were replaced by plastic molds.
What to Look For
Antique candy molds are collected by material and form. For instance, some people collect only metal molds and some collectors want to amass collections of only candy molds of animal forms. The most valuable and rare antique candy molds are based on their form and their condition. The more intricate the mold, the more valuable the antique mold. Also, condition of the mold and size of the mold impact value, too. Other elements to look for when assessing the age and quality of an antique candy mold is to review the clamps, pegs, or pins that hold the mold together. These features will impact value and desirability from collectors.
Get an online appraisal report of your antique candy mold from Dr. Lori.