Think of the foodies on your holiday shopping list and consider this beautiful 1870 Large French Culinary Food Mold with Star Motif. We like to take the pulse of the antique and collectible furniture market with industry spokesman George Evans, the entrepreneur behind Bond & Bowery, a great online resource for antiques and fine art. When we asked him for holiday gift suggestions, he showed this to us. It's holiday festive with its star motif, and the gorgeous copper patina of this wonderful food mold is extraordinary.
Design2Share: Why did this food mold catch your eye, George?
George: This is a wonderful example of an antique, handmade culinary accessory, and it stands the test of time. The size (17 inches wide x 9 inches deep x 6 inches high) and star motif design aren't typical. Copper food molds are used for mousses, cakes, breads, pates, custards, and gelatins; and star-shaped molds are often used in European countries for Christmas breads and cakes like the traditional Panettone and Pandoro. But you know what? This mold is simply smashing to look at and would be fine retired from active duty and used just for decoration.
D2S: What do you think makes this mold collectible?
George: The unusual large size, the large riveted loop handles, and especially the design with the star top and the elongated “spear “sides make this mold noteworthy.
This piece comes from Bond and Bowery dealer Black Tulip Antiques of Denver, CO. The mold is of French origin and dates from 1870. It's hand forged from a template design, and it might have been used in a commercial baking operation.
D2S: Where and how would you like to decorate with this French culinary mold?
George: This piece would be a great addition to any culinary mold collection, and molds have become quite popular for people to collect. Copper pieces, particularly when they're allowed to age and gather a rich patina, look beautiful in the home. This mold would look great hanging off a rack or mounted on the wall of your kitchen. You can even find place this piece in the dining room as it's an exceptional example of well designed and expertly made 19th Century French metalwork.
The tin lining of this mold may need to be rehabilitated and the mold relined if you were to use it for cooking once again, but with that little extra work, you can hang this mold on the wall as decoration, then take it down when it's pressed into use. Very versatile to have an unusual mold that is both decorative and functional. Keep the patina looking warm and aged by cleaning the copper only with warm sudsy water (unless you like your copper shiny and looker new versus antique). And what a great holiday gift! Copper food molds make perfect collectibles, they vary in every size and shape, and have been made for over a hundred years. They add a sense of design mastery, culinary history, and warmth to any home. If the foodie on your list hasn't started a collection yet, this mold would make a stellar first piece.