Antique Cutters

I love the monthly antique segment at Carolina HeartStrings. I learn something new every time about my “stuff” and always something about the wonderful treasures that Alessa has at her own home. I am happy that a lot of my “stuff” has been passed down through my family and when I look around and decide just what to write about I get excited about researching and finding out the history of the object.

This month my antique of choice is my tin biscuit and cookie cutter collection. Not a large collection and although not a family passed down treasure, I love it! Cookie cutters date back thousands of years. The earliest ones being carved out of wood, These date back thousands of years.

Cookie cutters made from tin became available at the end of the 1700s and during this time the cookie cutters were generally hearts, hands, stars and simple animal shapes. The tin was cut out into the shape and then soldered into a tin plate form. Occasionally handles were soldered onto the plate. However, solder was very expensive in the late 1700s only little dabs were used to hold them together. As the solder became less expensive, more and more of it was used and in the 1830s cookie cutters started to have large welds of solder.

Tinsmiths traveled the country at this time making and selling tin household goods and if there were any scraps of tin leftover, they made cookie cutters. It was in this way that the shapes were made unique and slightly different in size and shape. After the Civil War manufacturing of the cookie cutters began and the shapes and sizes became more standard and more complicated. In the 1920s aluminum became the material of choice being a lighter material that kept its shiny appearance.

Small Tin Cutter

Mine look like they are all made out of tin. So in theory, they fall into the before 1920s category for sure. None of them have any identifying marks on them which makes me also believe that they were not “manufactured” but were handmade.

All my solder appears to be in small amounts without any obvious larger repair welds. They are all still functional and I do use them from time to time. Especially this little set of different sized round ones.

Round antique cutters in various sizes

I love this small one I recently found with the red handle. That is what drew my eye to it!

Red Handled Antique Cutter

And this is my absolute favorite, the multi-sided cookie cutter.

Multi-sided antique cookie cutter

Mine are the not of the designs which are apparently rare and hard to find, the heart in hand, stag, trees, boots, shoes or people and are probably not worth much money, but in truth, I really don’t collect what I collect for that reason.

I collect for the pure joy of finding something I love and when it is a functional item that I put to use as it once was by hands long gone, that brings me joy and makes it the ultimate collectable to me.