From the 1800’s Victorian era, well into the 1970s, virtually all wedding cakes had a bride and groom topper. In more recent decades, however, floral designs and sculpted icing have, sadly, pushed the little couple off the cake. But lately there’s been a resurgence of interest in old fashioned wedding customs. Hence the re-emergence of two little figures on the top of the cake. And some brides are not using new figures. They like the warmth and whimsy of the vintage ones.
Collectors, too, have fallen under the spell of these whimsical objects. There is an amazingly vast variety of styles, plus they look so charming and festive when grouped together. This is certainly an area of collecting where you can’t stop at just one!
Vintage wedding cake toppers were manufactured in large numbers in Germany, Japan, and the United States. Since most were stored as treasured keepsakes, many survive in good condition. Nineteenth century chalkware toppers are rare and often sell for several hundred dollars each. Mass produced pieces dating to the early to mid 1900s made of bisque, composition, and, later, plastic are the most plentiful. Prices range from $40 to $150. War time designs with soldier grooms start at about $100.
So, if you have a wedding in your future, or if you want to start or add to your collection why not come into the Midtown Mercantile Merchants Antique Mall in central Tucson at 4443 E. Speedway? With almost 100 dealers the search for a wedding cake topper just might be successful!
Carol Fenn 4-2017