When I started this blog, it was one of my hopes that it would bring together a group of like-minded people with a shared interest in all things Martha. I had no idea I would be corresponding today with dozens of people from around the world, many of whom write to me with questions - and in some cases answers! - regarding Martha's ventures and wares.
When it comes to answers regarding Martha by Mail, my go-to source is David Pantoja of Philadelphia. A longtime Martha Stewart collector and reader of this blog, David quickly became a friend of mine. I was really touched to learn that his blog, Good Things By David, was inspired by Martha Moments. (He even wrote a very nice post about Martha Moments that I was very touched by.)
Good Things By David is a beautiful showcase of his talent; David is a wonderful cook and baker and is very interested in homekeeping. In fact, he is part of a growing number of male homemakers and has given himself the title of CEO at Home. I love it! David and his partner live in a beautiful historic home in rural Philadelphia that David tends to with love and care each day. I urge you to visit his blog to discover not only his vast collection of Martha by Mail collectibles, but also his wonderful culinary creations and homekeeping tips.
David made good use of Martha's mail-order catalog when it was still functioning in the late 1990s and early 2000s. His collection is quite extensive and impressive. He has all of the cookie-cutter sets, many of the mixing bowls and cake stands, the much-coveted Turkey Hill spice rack and spice canisters and various plates and platters with the Martha by Mail imprint.
I asked David if he would send me photos of some of his cookie-cutter collection for my archives here, since they are the most highly-prized and most sought-after collectibles from the Martha by Mail catalog. He happily obliged. Below are some examples of his sets.
This photo includes the Alphabet Cookie Cutters, which were very popular, Halloween Marshmallow Cutters, Beautiful Bug Cookie Cutters, Victorian Ornament Cookie Cutters, Evergreen Cookie Cutters and Canape Leaf Cutters.
Many of the early sets of cookie cutters were embossed with the Martha By Mail logo.
The cookies themselves look beautiful once they are baked and decorated.
All of the Martha By Mail cookie cutters were made of copper. These ones, shown above, are oversized and were sold in pairs and had holiday themes: Prancing Reindeer & Snowflake; Candy Cane & Snowman, Hatching Bunny & Hen, Gingerbread House & Christmas Tree, Mouse King & Nutcracker, Star & Moon.
The Star & Moon was the first cookie-cutter set to be sold through Martha By Mail.
The Hatching Bunny & Hen set is David's favourite from the oversized holiday pairs.
The oversized cutters in this photo, and the one below, include: Papillon and Sunflower, Great Owl and Belfry Bat, Mighty Acorn and Sugar Squirrel, Seahorse and Nautilus, Chubby Pumpkin and Tom Turkey. This is David's favourite set. They are extremely valuable and almost never become available for resale.
These cookie cutters are extremely large.
The acorn and the squirrel cookies look beautiful when they're fully decorated, as shown in the Martha By Mail instruction booklet that accompanied the set.
There were three sets in the Noah's Arc series of cookie cutters, which is by far the most popular and well-known series from the Martha By Mail collection. Each set contained nine copper cookie cutters. Shown above is David's complete menagerie.
When the sets arrived in the mail they came in a house-shaped box filled with paper straw.
The third set of Noah's Arc Cookie Cutters came with a plastic arc template to create the ship itself.
The templates that came inside each box reveal the cutter shapes in silhouette. The complete Noah's Arc, with animals from all three sets, would include: hawk, giraffe, alligator, bear, donkey, sheep, kangaroo, elephant, lion, snake, ostrich, tiger, hippo, rhino, seal, penguin, moose, camel, owl, lama, turtle, skunk, platapus, monkey, peacock, buffalo and gazelle.