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This gesso mold dates from the late 19th c. (1880's) and is made of wood and the mold itself is pitch tar.

Antique gesso molds are rare and difficult to fine. I purchased quite a few of these from a dealer who had acquired them from a retired restoration artist. These molds were used to create the highly decorative gesso frames for oil paintings, moldings and decorative accents on furniture.

They are made by carving intricate patterns into wood which is then used to make the pitch tar mold. The pitch tar mold is then mounted within a large wood block.

These blocks are thick and industrial grade since they were intended to heavy work loads. These blocks are ideal as bookends, door stops, paper weights or you can screw hooks you can find at any hardware store in the backside and hang them on the wall.

This mold is an authentic antique. I won't be surprised when companies like Restoration Hardware and Pottery barn start making reproductions. I have noticed that their repos tend to be way overpriced and often cost more then genuine antiques due to modern day production lines cost!

The wood has aged and gained a beautiful rich patina. The mold is a bit dusty, you can clean these molds and add some lindseed oil to shine them up but I personally prefer them just the way they are!

This listing is for one mold as shown.

Measures: 13" high by 11 3/4" wide and 2" thick.

Feel free to ask me any questions and be sure to visit my blog to learn more about my retail shop located in the Northern Hudson Valley area of NY.

Antique Wood Industrial Architectural Gesso Primitive Letterpress Mold


  • Materials: wood, pitch tar
  • Feedback: 230 reviews
  • Only ships to United States from New York, United States.