by L.A. Davis
This wooden box could be anything in the whazzit category but according to its owner, Doug Giesecke, it is an antique sugar mold.
Giesecke purchased the box -- not knowing what it was -- from a thrift store in Brevard County and proceeded to do research.
“To me, it’s a weird oddity,” said Giesecke, who is an antiques dealer at Titusville Antique Mall. “At the thrift store they didn’t know what it was and I didn’t know either. I bought it because it was weird and interesting. I’ve done that many times before. I have pretty eclectic taste.”
While Giesecke did a fair amount of research before concluding that his purchase was a sugar mold, there is one odd piece to the sugar mold theory, namely his comes with a wooden ball inside.
“I first thought it was a cannon ball mold,” said Giesecke. “But now I am pretty sure it’s a sugar mold. People use it for some sort of confectionary. I’m not exactly sure what the wooden ball is for—I think that was added later, just because it fit.”
Giesecke may be right that the wooden box is a sugar mold, but his has only one indent and most sugar molds have several. “Dr. Google” says sugar molds usually come with multiple indents for creating rounded mounds of sugar.
So how does the sugar mold work? In the 19th century, long before there was such a thing as “granulated” sugar, there was sugar cane syrup. Raw sugar cane syrup was poured into the sugar mold indentations and allowed to dry. The resultant mounds or cones were easier to store and move or sell. If some sugar was wanted, one simply chipped off a bit (or bite).
Giesecke has to admit that antique sugar molds are a far cry from where he started in antiques.
“I always loved anything that was from the past,” he said. “I’ve always loved all types of antiques. I used to do antique cars. Now I do Victrolas and music boxes … and anything else weird and eclectic, like the sugar mold.”
L. A. Davis is the owner Highlands Estate Sales, the former “Treasure Hunt” columnist for Florida Today, and the author of The Jolly Art of Junking.
Titusville Antique Mall, which has more than 75 vendors, is located at 3550 S. Washington Ave., Titusville. For more information call 321-225-8663.
Hi I'm Kathy, owner of Vintage Finds Magazine. I hope you enjoy these vintage shops and markets.