Do you have a few antique cookie cutters hiding in a kitchen drawer somewhere? If so, you may be surprised to learn just how much value they could hold.
Cookie cutters have been around for centuries, and their design has evolved over time. Today, there is a wide variety of cookie cutter shapes and sizes available on the market.
Whether you’re looking for a vintage cookie cutter or one from a more recent decade, there is sure to be something to fit your needs. In this blog post, we will take a look at the value of antique cookie cutters and discuss some of the most popular designs.
Let’s get started!
A Brief History of Cookie Cutters
Cookie cutters have been around in various forms for thousands of years. But the earliest cookie cutters that you might recognize surfaced around the 1400s. They were made of tin and were often used to cut basic shapes like gingerbread.
In the 1600s, tinsmiths used their scraps to create slightly more varied shapes, such as animals, stars, hearts, and other items. If a tin cookie cutter had a back plate, it may or may not have a strap handle, and more often had air release holes for pushing the cookie out of the cutter. These early cookie cutters were often very simple in design, with few if any embellishments, but they were much-loved in the kitchen just the same, especially by the Germanic group known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.
Cookie cutters became more ornate in the late 1800s, when companies began mass-producing them for home cooks. By the early 1900s, cookie cutter designs had become quite elaborate, with some featuring intricate back plates and strap handles.
The advent of aluminum cookie cutters brought about a new era of cookie cutter design. These lightweight and affordable cookie cutters quickly became popular among home cooks in the 1930s, and then after World War II, plastic became a widely-used material.
Popular Antique Cookie Cutter Manufacturers
While there were several manufacturers of antique cookie cutters, there isn’t a lot of information about them. Seemingly all that is left of many of these companies are their adorable cookie cutters with their brand names stamped across the handle or side of the cutter.
A few of the companies we are aware of today are Mason, A. Kreamer Co., Hillson, Chilton Housewares, MH and Dover–which is the first company to produce a cookie cutter catalog (in 1867).
What are Vintage Cookie Cutters Made Of?
Metal cookie cutters are what you’ll typically find when it comes to antiques. These cutters are generally made of tin or aluminum.
- Tin – Tin cookie cutters were the most popular type of cutter during the 1800s. These heavy-duty cutters were often used to cut dough for pies or other desserts and quickly became a kitchen staple.
- Aluminum – Aluminum cookie cutters became popular in the 1930s and are still widely available.
- Plastic – Plastic cookie cutters are also popular vintage kitchen tools. They became common in the 1950s. These simple yet functional cookie cutters are still a favorite among home cooks today and can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Types of Antique Cookie Cutters
Now that we’ve looked at a brief history of antique cookie cutters, let’s take a look at some of the most popular designs.
Flat-Back Cookie Cutter
A popular design for early cookie cutters is the flat-back cookie cutter. Cutters with a flat back were first introduced in the 1800s. These cutters are designed to be used with a flat surface, such as a cookie sheet or cutting board.
There is usually one or several air release holes on the back, and sometimes they also have wooden knobs or strap handles to make cutting easier. These more primitive cutters were made in more basic shapes for baking.
Cookie molds are another popular type of cookie cutter. Cookie molds were very popular in the 1600s when immigrants came to America and used them to create Christmas cookies and Christmas tree ornaments that reminded them of home.
These cookie cutters were available in a variety of shapes and sizes and are used to make bas-relief impressions on the cookie dough. With any design possible, cookie molds are perfect for any occasion.
Open Back Cookie Cutter
The most recent type of cookie cutter, the open back cookie cutter has no back plate. It sometimes has a handle supported by a metal strip across the diameter of the cutter’s back, but generally, it is completely open.
Open back cookie cutters have a wide variety of designs that have been popular over the years. Some of the most common include barnyard animals like chickens, horses, ducks, and rabbits. They also come in many other shapes, such as a Christmas tree, a star, a diamond, a heart, and a spade.
How Much are Vintage Cookie Cutters Worth?
The value of a vintage cookie cutter depends on its age, condition, and rarity.
The age of a cookie cutter is one of the most important factors in determining its value. Older cookie cutters, such as those from the late 1800s or early 1900s, are typically worth more than newer cookie cutters and can fetch a fairly good price at an auction or antique shop.
The condition of a cookie cutter is also an important factor in determining its value. Old cookie cutters that are in excellent condition, with no rust or cracks, are typically worth more than those that are in poor condition.
For example, an antique tin cookie cutter from the late 1800s in good condition could sell for $100. A plastic cookie cutter from the 1950s in good condition might sell for between $10 and $50.
The rarity of a cookie cutter is another important factor in determining its value. Cookie cutters that are rare, such as those with unique or handcrafted designs, are typically worth more than those that are more common.
Where Do You Buy Antique Cookie Cutters?
Making your own cookies is so much more fun when you have unique, one-of-a-kind shapes to use. So if you’re interested and on the hunt for some antique cookie cutters to add to your collection, there are a few places you can look.
One option is to visit local antique stores. Old cookie cutters can sometimes be pretty hard to come by, so checking out local antique stores is a great way to try to find them. You may find a selection of cookie cutters in person and get an idea of what design styles are available.
If you’re looking for vintage cookie cutters, you may also want to check out local vintage shops. These shops typically carry a range of items from different eras, so you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
You can also search for vintage cookie cutters at flea markets. These markets are quaint and eclectic, so they’re a wonderful place to find hidden treasures. You may need to negotiate to get the best price, but they’re still worth a look. You just might find the perfect cookie cutter for your holiday baking.
Another option is to check online marketplaces, such as Etsy. These sites are like antique malls or flea markets in the sense that they contain “shops” owned by many different vendors around the world. The likelihood of finding a wide variety of cookie cutters, from antique to modern designs, is very high.
You can also find a variety of other kitchen items on these sites, such as cookie jars and cake stands. You never know what treasures you might find.
Ask Experts or Join a Club
You can even learn more about collectable cookie cutters and where to buy them from experts on the topic. There are even clubs you can join and museums you can visit in order to learn more.
These days, you can find cookie cutters in just about any shape or size imaginable. Whether you’re looking for a specific design or just want to collect a variety of different shapes, there is sure to be something out there for you.
We hope this article has helped you learn more about the interesting world of antique cookie cutters. Whether you’re looking to add to your collection or start one from scratch, the information you find here will help you get the most out of your purchase.
Thanks for reading!
Do you have any tips on collecting antique cookie cutters? Let us know in the comments below!