Vintage Copper Ware… Everything Old Is New Again
COLLECTIBLES EXCLUSIVELY FOR RANDOLPH STREET MARKET BY NENA IVON, nenasnotes
“Copper has been an essential material to man since pre-historic times. In fact, one of the major “ages” or stages of human history is named for a copper alloy, bronze. Copper and its many alloys have played an important role in many civilizations, from the ancient Egyptians, Romans to modern day cultures around the world.” Copper Development Association Inc. (Do explore their website…fascinating stuff!)
Mankind’s First Metal
“Copper has been in use at least 10,000 years, but more than 95% of all copper ever mined and smelted has been extracted since 1900. As with many natural resources, the total amount of copper on Earth is vast (around 10 to the 14th tons just in the top kilometer of Earth’s crust, or about 5 million years worth at the current rate of extraction). However, only a tiny fraction of these reserves is economically viable, given present-day prices and technologies. Various estimates of existing copper reserves available for mining vary from 25 years to 60 years, depending on core assumptions such as the growth rate.
While copper in its purest form is a very soft metal, almost any element that can be added to copper will increase its hardness. The addition of tin not only imparts strength but also results in an alloy, known as bronze, that can be readily cast in molds. Early on, man discovered that bronze would flow evenly into molds and produce reliable castings with intricate shapes and patterns.” From Kobett Metals website
A copper mine.
A vein of copper…Mother Nature at her best…
What do we think of when we think copper….the Statue of Liberty, of course, a penny, naturally, some decorative accessory pieces one is likely to see in Mid-Century Modern homes but that is not what I’m concentrating on for this post but rather the kitchenalia we cook with (conducts heat to profection and in a mixing bowl whips cream perfectly) most particularly, Copper Pudding Molds…
Isn’t she glorious… now, of course, with her patina coat…
Pennies used as decorative floor tile… fascinating use for the lowly coin.
Found at Randolph Street Market for décor probably originally ashtrays, now for bonbons or whatever you choose, my photo.
A couple of stunning Arts and Crafts pieces for a Mid-Century Modern home.
I love the luster of these pans and kettles against the brick wall…very English country home… don’t you agree!!!!!
Copper Pudding Molds are shiny and ornate, these fanciful casts originated in Europe in the 1700s and remained in fashion through World War I. In England, “pudding” is a general term for desserts of all kinds, hence the term “pudding mold.” A perfect item to collect and you can find vintage “replicas” as well as the originals at the monthly Randolph Street Market. As always I suggest you use each dealers expertise to guide you through collecting no matter what form (pun intentional!!) it takes and remember don’t think about it buy it when you see it or someone else will! My warning for collecting…
While I wouldn’t suggest you bake in very old molds, they make fabulous decorative pieces while newer, think mid-twentieth century to today, are fine for making any sort of “pudding”, jello molds (they too are back in favor), aspics, all can enhance your cooking year round but particularly charming at a summer picnic or back yard entertaining…easy to do and smashing to look at and devour!
Perhaps you will find vintage drawings that could be framed and hung in your kitchen along with your copper molds. A couple of great examples.
Didn’t we all have fish molds and/or pineapple molds. One from my collection….all my copper went to friends collections. For years I had copper bottom pans as my cookware, they are also gone to homes that can use them and keep them shining. Many pieces today are coated so polishing them isn’t necessary, call me old fashion but I like the luster of the untreated…using a bit of elbow grease never hurt anyone plus the patina in the aging, like we humans, is beautiful.
Let’s enjoy looking at a few wonderful vintage pieces and perhaps how to display them in your home…
Several books for reference…..again look at RSM for all manner of vintage books…
Perhaps a copper brocade dress to wear when hosting your dinner party having used your copper collection to impress your guests…
A solid brass sculpture, fascinating.
Copper, one of earths beautiful materials, can be enjoyed in so many ways and we can enjoy them in our homes, see the many statues with their years of patina or hold it in our hands in the form of a penny… no end to its delights.
by Nena Ivon
All photos from Pinterest photo credits unknown.