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Vintage Porcelain Glove Molds : History and Cleaning Tips

Updated on April 2, 2019
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I am a published book author and vintage blogger , who enjoys sharing love of vintage .

Beautiful Vintage Glove Molds

This is a “ short” porcelain glove mold. Usually they range about 14-16” tall.
This is a “ short” porcelain glove mold. Usually they range about 14-16” tall. | Source

General Porcelain of Trenton, New Jersey

A variety of glove molds in various sizes. A “7” would be small to medium hand whereas a “9” large to extra large. Jumbo ones were used to make electrical gloves and large rubbers. A variety of sizes of glove molds.
A variety of glove molds in various sizes. A “7” would be small to medium hand whereas a “9” large to extra large. Jumbo ones were used to make electrical gloves and large rubbers. A variety of sizes of glove molds. | Source

What Were These Hunks of Porcelain?

Glove Molds were primarily used for making latex or rubber gloves. Porcelain hands served as forms (glove mold) to used to attach to a machine to "dip" into the rubber or latex mass, and make the gloves. Examples have been found by many pottery companies--from Germany to Japan.

US examples include Mayer China and General Porcelain among others, but according to the Potteries of Trenton Society, General Porcelain one was a leader in it's day. Located in the town of Trenton, New Jersey the building was located at 951 Pennsylvania Avenue. Incorporated in 1939 it's early days were manufacturing Laboratory and industrial pottery such as electrical porcelain manufacturer--insulators, ceramic light parts, etc. China, Fine Earthenware, and art pottery soon followed and by the early 50's glove mold production was in full swing.

The company remained one of the largest producers of the glove mold in the USA, and locals knew it as General Porcelain Manufacturing Co. which, this facility was considered the "Justrite Ceramics Division. The company had 50 employees at the time and was reporting almost $6 million dollar per year gross income ...until their demise .

Hall China Company : East Liverpool Ohio

These are rare and hard to find - Hall China Ceramic Glove Molds
These are rare and hard to find - Hall China Ceramic Glove Molds | Source

Rare are the Hall China Molds

The Hall China company of East Liverpool Ohio in still in business. Best known for it's dinnerware and teapots, it has been "reintroducing" it's famous popular patterns. Collectors of new and old still love their wares. Founded in 1903, it celebrated it's 100 year anniversary in 2003 and was acquired by the famous Homer Laughlin Company in present day. . In addition to teapots, the company made industrial wares such as crocks, bed pans, glove molds, foot molds, and other custom work. It is uncertain just when the company was making these glove molds.

I toured the Hall factory in 2000, but did not see these glove molds. It was very interesting to see all the china drying and people quality checking them. I don't often come across Hall China glove molds, so I would think they are rare at the least.

Paint Glove Molds!

You can paint the bisque non-shiny glove molds like these!
You can paint the bisque non-shiny glove molds like these! | Source

Painting Tips

You saw how dirty looking the Hall China glove molds were, didn't you ? This one has been painted and has had a facelift. Note how nicely paint sticks to the glove mold. This mold was given a facelift and is still a great part of industrial yesterday to displace in the home.

If you do wish to paint a glazed glove mold you can, but make sure to get a plastic coat paint or something that will stick to a shiny surface. Textured paint works well as does Annie Sloan chalk paint. I have used it myself . Please note you cannot paint the glazed molds and expect them to last- it will scratch off with your fingernail. These suggestions pertain only to raw or bisque molds.

German Glove Molds

German Glove Mold
German Glove Mold | Source

Rosenthal

This country was huge in porcelain production. One of Germany's leading manufacturers of the porcelain glove molds was actually Rosenthal, wherein history can be traced back to the company, Hutschenreuther, (named from it's original founder in 1814 by Carl Magnus Hutschenreuther). It's not uncommon to still find glove molds marked "Rosenthal, West Germany The "West Germany" mark indicates the glove mold was made on or prior to 1990, when Germany went through a reunification.

Rosenthal"Technik" was taken over by Hoechst CeramTec (mark of HCT) and in 1985 so it is safe to say any molds marked Rosenthal are mid 80's or prior. The history of CeramTec is confusing and can be traced back to the events of the early 1900s with Rosenthal and their porcelain production. Both companies had been producing ceramics for almost 100 years, so it's no wonder that the merger finally occurred.

To make matters even one step more confusing, CeramTec 's holdings are actually in America and they have a factory in South Carolina. They have other factories nationwide including several in Germany, one in Malaysia, China, Korea and Czech Republic among other places, and one many only imagine that they could very well still be producing glove molds to this day.


Answer This Honestly:

What is your first impression of glove molds?

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Shinko of Japan - Shanghai Shinko

SHINKO Skinko of Japan Glove Mold
SHINKO Skinko of Japan Glove Mold | Source

Shinko Glove Molds

Shinko porcelain factory of Japan was one of the leaders in porcelain making throughout Japan's history. In 1993, Shanghai Shinko (one of the branches/members of the famous Shinko Co., Ltd.) began set up and molding of most of the glove molds. As of late 2010, Shanghai Shinko had produced more than one hundred kinds of glove molds since it was set up in 1993 ,and are averaging 50,000 pieces per month. As of September 2011 - they vanished from my radar .


Mexican Glove Molds : Little Bit of Info

I don't know much about Mexican glove molds, except they are being made today.
I don't know much about Mexican glove molds, except they are being made today. | Source

Beware of New Molds if You Want Vintage

Companies in China are producing glove molds as they are also making tons of surgical and latex gloves there now. Beware if your mold is marked CHINA as this is not vintage but new.


Good Design

This is a small portion of glove molds made in Trenton, NJ back when General Porcelain was still in production.
This is a small portion of glove molds made in Trenton, NJ back when General Porcelain was still in production. | Source

A Collector's Dream

From Blue Bell Bazaar, this strange glove mold is so scary I love it.
From Blue Bell Bazaar, this strange glove mold is so scary I love it. | Source

Rare Textured Glove Mold

Glove molds: Bizarre Textured One must have been for grippy gloves!
Glove molds: Bizarre Textured One must have been for grippy gloves! | Source

Uses for Glove Molds

Glove molds are fully functional as jewelry displays, but are also in good design. I have them all around my home. They were originally bought for a catering job to sit on tables at a wedding.

Can you believe that the NEW factory owner was crushing them up for crush and run on his parking lot? Eegads. Above, these were all made in Trenton, NJ.

They are also a fun collectible for Halloween. If you accidentally crack or chip one, then stick them in the garden!

This One is Holding Flowers

Glove molds can be quite functional in the home.
Glove molds can be quite functional in the home. | Source

Display Things

Ragamuffin2006 on Etsy uses her hands to display her gorgeous Penny Rings! most Glove molds are a bit too large and chunky to hold rings, but these rings are adjustable.
Ragamuffin2006 on Etsy uses her hands to display her gorgeous Penny Rings! most Glove molds are a bit too large and chunky to hold rings, but these rings are adjustable. | Source

So Many Glove Molds, So Little Time

Glove molds came in so many sizes and shapes, that a collector could easily spend a lifetime trying to collect them all. A manufacturer such as General Porcelain may have had hundreds of clients all over the map. Therefore, their production of molds included variations of textured, non-textured, small, large, short, stout, etc.. During a time when the industrial revolution as taking place, machinery would always be upgraded to newer models, and base attachments may have had to been reworked or changed. Still after years of collecting I see something new, like this one that above was previously offered at Blue Bell Bazaar (now closed) on Etsy. There's certainly enough variations out there to start a collection.

Creepy Halloween Decor

I use my glove molds to display my old doll head collection!  Talk about urban decay...
I use my glove molds to display my old doll head collection! Talk about urban decay... | Source

Glove Molds

Glove Molds are part of industrial history. The porcelain ones were and are mainly used to make latex gloves.

What do you think glove molds are best used for?

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Too Big for Rings? Use them for Necklaces!

TIP: use them for a necklace if the fingers are too fat for jewelry!
TIP: use them for a necklace if the fingers are too fat for jewelry! | Source

Beautiful Reworked Glove Mold by RaleighModern on Etsy

Beautiful Reworked Glove Mold by RaleighModern on Etsy
Beautiful Reworked Glove Mold by RaleighModern on Etsy

Antique Glove Molds: Colonial Insulator Marked Mold

Porcelain Glove Mold, very old, dating back to 50s
Porcelain Glove Mold, very old, dating back to 50s | Source

Super Old are Colonial Insulator Molds

Colonial Insulator (and Sign) Company was out of Akron Ohio from 1894-1922. Although I am unsure if that is the same Colonial Insulator Company or not...I then found the same exact mold marked General Porcelain 1966. I am led to believe then that General Porcelain of Trenton NJ bought them out....and that finding molds marked Colonial Insulator is ultra rare. Compare the original above with the General Porcelain hand below...

Same Mold

As noted this shows General Porcelain but looks exactly the same!
As noted this shows General Porcelain but looks exactly the same! | Source

Did You Know?

6.5 Glove Mold Curved is small, however displays the ring only on one finger.
6.5 Glove Mold Curved is small, however displays the ring only on one finger.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer

Please leave a comment!

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    • profile image

      Misty 

      3 years ago

      So I have for the past couple years found pieces of porcelain "something" being pushed up by tree roots, finally found a full stamp to Google which led me to the glove molds. Could this have been decoration the previous owners put around the trees? Wish I could send a picture. Looks like finger tips and texture and maybe design.

    • profile image

      Miss Priss 

      4 years ago

      I have several HCT molds. What does the 4 digit number represent. Why are the dates stamped? I presume the other number would be size.

      thank-you

    • GiftsByDiana profile image

      Diana Burrell-Shipton 

      4 years ago from Hubbard, Ohio, USA

      Love all of the photos !

      I have a few of Mom's "hands" as we always called them and I use them to display the vintage jewelry that I need to photograph before I list them in the shop that I made for my Dad for Mom's vintage jewelry collection. We lost her just over a year and 1/2 ago and I miss her so much, but having some of her displays and using them is nice :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      5 years ago

      These are starting to grow on me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Greatt ! My dad made 'glove mold' for producing rubber glove.

      But I've just known it can be used like this :)

      I like your article.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Can I ask u miss mency do you write this style page here this blog?

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      I really like these molds. Do you write http://RetroChalet.blogspot.com too because I saw your article on the melmac too great job

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      Great stuff and I love your Vintage Chalet blog!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      Great stuff and I love your Vintage Chalet blog!

    • Retro Loco profile image

      Vicki 

      8 years ago from USA

      I have seen vintage glove molds on eBay before, but I thought they were ring displays from old department and jewelry stores. It didn't occur to me that these might have been glove molds. I have always wanted one (or 2 or 3 or 10). There is something slightly eerie about them, which is probably why I like them! This is an excellent lens, and I know a lot of other people are going to agree with me! ~Vicki~

    • profile image

      texasbargaindepot 

      8 years ago

      Great article, Miss Mency! :) Thank you for including my rings! xx, Heather

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      8 years ago

      great article thank you i did buy one from you awhile back and am glad someone is putting information out there.

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