Q: I have a pewter ice-cream mold in the shape of a ship. It’s marked “E and Co. N.Y. 1222” on the side. Is this valuable? Can I use it?
A: The mark was used by Eppelsheimer & Co. of New York City. The company was in business from 1880 to 1947. It was one of the major U.S. producers of pewter molds for ice cream and chocolate. Eppelsheimer sold molds to confectioners, ice cream companies and other retailers. The number marked on the mold is its catalog number. When the company closed, the dies for the molds were sold. Another American company has been making tin molds from the old dies since the 1980s. Old pewter molds may contain lead and should only be used for display, since they might contaminate food. The value of pewter molds ranges from $50 to $100.