Q&A ON COLLECTING
Collectors clamor for cow butter molds
Q: Enclosed is a photo of an antique clear-glass butter mold. When the butter is extracted from the mold, it produces an impression of a cow on the top of the butter.
How old is it, where was it made, and what is its current value?
A: Glass butter molds were made from around 1875 to the early 1900s. Wood molds were also available. People often preferred the glass molds, because they were cleaner and didn't retain unpleasant smells. Images of cows, flowers or stars were embossed in the bottom of the glass. The wood plunger was used to push the butter out and then revealed the image imprinted on the butter.
Cow molds were preferred by collectors by a country mile. Check your glass mold. Some were marked with the name of the manufacturer or a patent date.
There are reproductions on the market, and they generally have no identifying marks.
Your butter mold was made in the late 1800s, and if it is in pristine condition, it would probably fetch $100 to $200 in an antiques shop.
One with some wear and a chip or two would probably sell from $25 to $50.
Q: This mark is on a set of Noritake dishes that we recently inherited.
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