8 ways to infuse chocolate into your collection

By Antoinette Rahn

There’s no question chocolate is one of the most delightful and delectable sweets ever made. If you’re like many of us, the older we get, the more particular we are about how frequent and how much of this tasty treat we consume. However, that doesn’t mean we skip the opportunity to celebrate International Chocolate Day, which is today (Sept. 13).

A couple of options for celebrating an appreciation for chocolate all year long, without the added calories, is to infuse a collection with a chocolate connection. Hmm, ‘Chocolate Connection’ sounds like a space on the Candy Land board game or perhaps an area of Willy Wonka’s candy factory, but there are many options for making that delightful connection. Here are a few that caught my attention:

Photo courtesy Case Antiques, Inc/Bidsquare

George II Irish Rococo sterling silver chocolate pot. It’s Irish and chocolate – a perfect combination in my mind. This beautiful piece boasts a tapering body with hand chased floral, leaf, and shell repousse designs with a bird’s head spout. Both sides showcase an engraved cartouche with a family crest. This pot dates to 1750 and sold for $6,552 during a January 2016 auction offered by Case Antiques, Inc.

Photo courtesy Potter & Potter Auction/Bidsqure

• I love this coin-op device! What’s not to love about a vending machine featuring Wilbur’s 1 Cent Double Extra Vanilla Chocolate Vendor? Dating to the 1940s the machine even includes the original instruction sheet for filling the device. It sold for $5,412 during Potter & Potter Auctions’ September 2017 auction.

Photo courtesy Julien’s Auctions/Bidsquare

• Cool gentleman wear chocolate, right? Well, if this single-breasted chocolate textured wool coat made for Hollywood legend Cary Grant is any indication, chocolate coats for gents is cool. The interior right sleeve has Western Costume stamps and a label inscribed “20439 #8 Cary Grant chest 43.” The coat was one of two that sold as a single lot for $3,737 during Julien’s Auctions’ Dec. 2014 auction.

Photo courtesy Pook & Pook, Inc/Noel Barrett/Bidsquare

• This enchanting pewter chocolate mold features three German versions of the character Popeye. Chocolate molds or moulds became most popular during the Victorian Era (1837-1901). This adorable item sold for $615 during Pook & Pook, Inc’s December 2016 auction.

Photo courtesy Crescent City Auction Gallery/Bidsquare

• The descriptive title of this charming piece caught my attention, in part because of the words ‘glazed chocolate.’ In all seriousness, this Edwardian carved inlaid mahogany glazed chocolate cabinet, dating to the early 20th century, is attention getting all on its own. Check out the drop front door and the tapered legs – wow! It sold for $531 during Crescent City Auction Gallery’s June 2016 auction.

Photo courtesy Hess Auction Group/Bidsquare

• We can’t have a list celebrating chocolate in any form without representation from Hershey’s. This wooden Hershey’s Chocolate Breakfast Cocoa box dates to the 1890s and is in pretty decent condition considering. The jointed wooden box was used for shipping product and features original paper label. This item, which sold for $383 during Hess Auction Group’s January 2016 auction, would make a great item to display.

Photo courtesy Hess Auction Group/Bidsquare

• I can picture a rug like this Bakhtiari example positioned on a wood floor of a parlor back in the late 19th century when it was new. The inclusion of red, green chocolate and ivory colors adds to the visual warmth this rug exudes. This 3 foot, 8 inch by 7 foot, 6 inch Bakhtiari rug sold for $350 during a July 2015 auction presented by Brunk Auctions.

Photo courtesy DuMouchelles/Bidsquare

• Obviously, Gucci understands that next to chocolate, fashionable purses are the way to some people’s hearts. This classic Chocolate Brown Snakeskin Indy Hobo bag features a single handle and a fold-over closure. It sold for $875 during a September 2016 auction offered by DuMouchelles.

Cheers to chocolate in all its various forms!