September 15, 2016

Baked, Vintage Details

It’s all in the details, and that’s why this season, as the temps begin to dip and food lovers descend on neighborhood apple orchards with burlap bags in hand, we’ve got our eye on vintage bakeware.

Vintage bakeware comes in many shapes and forms, from muffin tins to cookie sheets, pie plates and some of our most treasured tools of all – 1950s-style egg beaters with their prominent mechanical gears, hinged ice cream scoops, and dainty little madeleine trays.

Fall seems to mirror the kaleidoscope of muted colors and rough textures that define these vintage pieces. The season doesn’t sparkle like the summer. Gone are the green grasses and wildflowers; replaced by steel gray skies and the smell of bread baking in the oven. It’s fall’s own patina, a message that we need to slow down, to hunker, and to embrace slower pleasures.

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We love vintage pieces for their ability to tell a story. It’s comforting to know that today’s treasured items once held a place in others’ kitchens, feeding hungry children when they got home from school, or celebrating special occasions.

Finding that perfect rustic piece can seem like a challenge, but not if you know what to look for and where to look. Classic and affordable pieces include Table Talk or Blue Bird pie tins. Ever seen a Mello-Rich pie tin from the 1930s? We’re selling several on the site when it goes live; a nod back to the pie days of Amanda Smith, whose company Mrs. Smith’s pies has been around since the 1930s.

Other famed vintage bakeware makers include Griswold, Wagner, Wilton Armetale, and Benham & Froud.

Aside from finding pieces online on sites like Propped, combing through flea markets and estate sales is always a good bet when you’re on the hunt for buried kitchen treasure. The East Coast has many popular flea markets, including Brooklyn Flea in Brooklyn, New York. Further north in Massachusetts, you’ll find the Brimfield Antique Show & Flea Market and the Mower’s Saturday Flea Market in Woodstock, NY.

Not to be underdone, the West Coast has its own slew of markets. A few months ago we caught up with Adam & Ryan from the popular blog Husbands That Cook who said that the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena, California is one of their favorite haunts. If you’re in Oregon, the Plucky maidens Junk Fest in Portland may be just the ticket for unfettered vintage shopping.

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At the markets, dealers come from far and wide, often bringing items that you won’t find anywhere else. Just remember that if you manage to find some late-nineteenth century cast iron pans, a few sets of ornamental copper pudding cups, or wooden cookie molds, bring home a few extra pieces! There will always be buyers on Propped looking for these types of goods, us included.

If you’d rather skip the search for vintage, several modern day brands offer a twist on yesterday’s classics. French manufacturers Le Creuset and Emile Henry make durable bakeware with simple, elegant designs. From bread pans to pie dishes, their products have headlined many a wedding registry, and for good reason: they’ll last a lifetime.
Vietri is another favorite with baking pieces that are all fired, glazed, and painted by hand. Couple these handmade pieces with ceramic or pewter serving plates from Arte Italica and you’re off to the races.

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So whether you’re looking to add a splash of vintage, or a whole vintage collection to your arsenal, make sure to follow along as we uncover more trends in vintage, more makers, and more kitchen cabinets to raid. It’s all happening on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter and Facebook; we look forward to seeing you over there!