Discontinued Collectibles Guide

Collectible Kitchenware & Kitchenalia

Collecting kitchenware

The kitchen is the heart of every home, so we are constantly being informed, mostly by people selling new kitchens. Assuming they are right, and it does indeed make sense, it follows that kitchens and their equipment through the ages provide a sound measure of human advancement. Little wonder then that the tools and appliances used by the cooks of yesterday are prized collectibles today.

This ancient scribe is one of many people who, when visiting museums, regard many of the domestic exhibits with some surprise that they should be considered museum pieces. After all, our mothers were still using them in the days of our youth! Some are actually still in use. The old hand powered mincing machine with its different discs for example.

Such has been the rate of advancement in electrically powered appliances that even the earlier examples of them have become collectables. A 1950s electric iron for instance or an early Kenwood Chef would be just as collectable to the right collector as that mincing machine. In fact food mixers of various kinds might well be the speciality of some collectors while others may concentrate on hand operated collectibles.

Few people cook on a coal or wood fire in the modern world so items originally used for such purposes are now of interest solely as collectables. Trivets and toasting forks come to mind here. The side boiler, part of the kitchen range, is a thing of the past, hence the humble ladle can which once was essential for getting water out of it is now seen as a kitchen collectible.

Kitchen scales with iron weights and an enamelled or polished brass pan have given place to the electronic scales of today which are so convenient to use. The same goes for the so-called spring balance, very similar to those still used by anglers to weigh their catch. Don’t take that last bit as Gospel, I’m not an angler and they may have been superseded there too by now!

Copper skillets and jugs too have become highly collectable. The non-stick revolution saw off the skillets, although there is a move back to all metal pans among serious cooks. Jugs though, whether made of metal, china or earthenware, are much less common in a modern domestic kitchen. When did you last see a milk jug being used in an everyday domestic situation?

Even teapots have suffered a decline in use due to the awful modern habit of popping a teabag directly into a mug and adding boiling water.

Thank goodness restaurants and good cafes still make tea properly! Even when teapots were being used much more they were already popular as collectables, especially china ones. There is a bit of a crossover between kitchen memorabilia and china collectibles due to many kitchen items being made from pottery of various grades.

Even the humble rolling pin has undergone changes in design and construction in more recent times. The recent resurgence of interest in home baking has ensured that rolling pins are still used but many of those in use are quite different to the old wooden ones used by our mothers and grandmothers. No sexism intended there by the way. It’s just that in the old days it was primarily the housewives who did the baking.

Looking around your modern kitchen it might be worth trying to work out which of the modern items in everyday use now will themselves become collectibles in a few years from now. Certainly, when you replace anything, especially if it is not broken but simply something perceived as better has become available, it would be wise to think carefully before throwing it away.

On each of the pages within this section dedicated to Kitchenware collectibles we have included links to live and current online auctions dealing in each theme. In addition, where known, we have added details of collector clubs, forums and websites. We wish you every success in tracking down the missing pieces of your discontinued Kitchenware collection and hope you will become a regular visitor to Accumulations. Remember it’s an ever-changing scene so it is always worth a return visit!

If you are interested in a specific type or genre of Kitchenware collectible, click on one of the following links:-

Toasters & Toasting Forks

Please also check out the Kitchenware Books, Related Dealers and Useful Resources listed on this page.

Useful Resources

No resources are currently listed for Kitchenware. If you know of a useful website that other Kitchenware collectors would like to know about please email us at

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