Skip to main content

Martha by Mail Noah's Ark Cookie Cutters ~ Set I

This set of Noah's Ark Cookie Cutters was first offered through Martha by Mail back in 1997.  Martha and her team of designers commissioned this menagerie of adorable animal cookie cutters from one of America's foremost coppersmiths.  The charming creatures quickly became collector's items when Martha showed us how she decorated her Christmas trees with scores of frosted cookies from this set.  That they are highly sought after today is a testament to their quality and enduring beauty.  Take a look at how each of these is unique in shape, size and character. 


These are from my personal collection.


The original label on the box ~ Set I.
Catalog # CNA 001


The cookie cutters themselves were so thoughtfully packaged.  The box is shaped like a compartmentalized ark that is lined with paper "hay". 


Original pamphlets with recipes & decorating ideas.  The plastic template is for the ark pictured on the right.


Text below is from the original decorating pamphlet.


The Ark.


  • The Ark: To make an ark for your animals, punch out the template and place it directly on the rolled-out cookie dough; cut around the template with a sharp knife.  Use two spatulas to transfer the dough to the cookie sheet, or save a step by rolling the dough right on the sheet.  After baking, decorate the ark and the animals with royal icing and sugar.

A Lion & Giraffe.

  • Lion: For the blue-and-green king of the jungle, smooth on a coat of blue icing, and let it dry completely.  Add a green mane and tail, and highlight with sugar.  The cookie itself makes a fine base for a brown lion ~ all it needs is an icing mane and tail, and an all-over coating of sugar
  • Giraffe: These long-necked creatures provide plenty of room for polka-dots: Coat the cookie with icing and immediately pipe contrasting dots onto the wet icing.  Sprinkle with sugar for a little sparkle.


A Kangaroo & Elephant.


  • Kangaroo: These graphic kangaroos are ready to hop onto the ark.  Pink and yellow icings are coated with sugar, left to dry, then defined with a row of white dots.  A solid-white kangaroo is accented with a yellow chest.
  • Elephant: Big and bold as in nature, elephants can be simple or detailed.  Give one a coating of light-blue icing and an outline of white dots from the trunk to tail.  Or dress one up and pipe on eyes, tusks, and big elephant ears.


A Dove, Alligator & Lamb.


  • Dove: Graceful doves don't require much embellishment: Coat with icing, let dry, pipe on an outline, and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Alligator: Much sweeter than the real-life reptile, these gators are coated with green icing; after it dries, royal icing eyes, teeth and claws are added and sugared dots make scaly skin.
  • Lamb: For the pink lamb, pipe on pretty fleece and sprinkle with sugar.  For the yellow lamb, ice the whole cookie, then add white fleece before it dries.


A Bear & Horse.



  • Bear: For a perfect polar bear, coat the cookie with white icing, and sprinkle with sugar.  After it dries, use black icing for eyes, nose and claws.  To make the green bear, smooth on icing, let dry, then pipe on dots.
  • Horse: For a horse of a very different color, apply bright indigo icing, and add green dots before it dries.  Use the same technique for the brown horse, but finish with sugar for a textured coat.

 
An iconic Martha Stewart Christmas tree.





Comments

  1. If only I had known what I was missing out on, I can't believe how awesome these are, I have some of her animal cutters from Macy's and they're cute, but not like these!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't seen the ones from Macy's, but I would love to. You can still find these on Ebay if you really want them (one of the reasons I decided to publish these was to give you collectors a glimpse of what to look for) Thanks for stopping by Christian, there will be more next week!

    ~ David ~

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do you happen to have the second set (w/the snake)? I just bought the set at a tag sale - very lucky find - but it did not have the decorating guide. I'm looking for ideas, and can't wait to try them out!

    First though -- I need to clean in accordance with your lemon instructions.

    Thank you for the beautiful site!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous: Lucky you(!) to have found a set at a tag sale--how much did you pay, if I may ask? I love hearing of people's good luck when they're out antiquing or shopping at flea markets. I do have Set II & Set III; these are going to be showcased next week, along with all of the decorating instructions--stay tuned! Thank you for enjoying my blog, I hope you stick around.

    ~David~

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love seeing old Martha By Mail items. I wish I saved all the old catalogs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh thank you! I am very excited to see the other sets. Get ready to fall off your chair -- I paid $8.00 for the set in the box. I have two nephews that chase me around while 'hissing' since they know how much I hate snakes. I couldn't pass up the set when I saw the snake cutter. They will get a care box of cookies very soon!

    Ali

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous: although I have a lot of the catalogs saved (how did I know these would be collectible back then?), I don't have all of them. I too LOVE seeing these exclusive items--stick around because I'll be showing more in the future.

    Ali: $8.00(!!) is quite a bargain. To think that these sets go for about $200 on ebay! Yes, you should definitely make cookies for your nephews (I do this for my nephews every year!!) and make extra snakes for them to enjoy!

    ~David~

    ReplyDelete
  8. So many years later....I coveted these cutters but couldn't afford them all. I have 1 set, the martha shell set and the martha bug set. I still use them for my Christmas theme cookies. I'm still always looking for great copper cutters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's great that you have those sets and use them regularly. MBM cookie cutters are all over eBay, and these days, they aren't too expensive.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thank You for Posting!

Popular posts from this blog

Antique Salt Cellars

There was a time when salt cellars played an important role on the dining table for the host or hostess.  As a result of it being such an expensive commodity several hundred years ago, salt was seen as a luxury and it was the well to do that made salt cellars quite fashionable & a status symbol for the home.  A single salt cellar usually sat at the head of the table and was passed around throughout the meal.  The closer one sat to the salt cellar, the more important one was deemed by the head of the household.  Smaller cellars that were more accessible and with an open top became a part of Victorian table settings.  Fast forward to the 20th century when salt was no longer a luxury and when anti caking agents were added to make salt free-flowing, and one begins to see salt cellars fall out of fashion.  Luckily for the collector and for those of us who like to set a table with Good Things , this can prove to be a boon. Salt cellars for the table come in silver, porcelain, cut glass

How to Paint a Chair

If you have ever felt the need to spruce up a set of chairs or give them a new look, why not try a little bit of paint?  Our tastes in decor and color will probably alter throughout our lives, and at some point, we may find ourselves wanting to change the look of our furniture without having to spend a lot of money.  That's where a few handy tips, some tools from the hardware store, and good-quality paint come in handy.   I know I'm not alone in paying visits to local antique shops, antique fairs and flea markets, and falling in love with pieces of furniture that would be perfect if they were just a different color.  You don't have to walk away from a good purchase simply because it's the wrong color.   My dear friend, Jeffrey, is forever enhancing his home with collectibles from flea markets and tag sales.  However, certain items aren't always up to Jeffrey's tastes when he brings them home.  He is the type of person who won't hesitate to chang

Collecting Jadeite

With its origins dating back to the 1930s, jadeite glassware began its mass production through the McKee Glass Co. in Pennsylvania. Their introduction of the Skokie green & Jade kitchenware lines ushered in our fascination with this jade color.  Glassmakers catered jadeite to the American public as an inexpensive alternative to earthenware soon after the Depression, both for the home and for its use in restaurants.  The Jeanette Glass Company and Anchor Hocking introduced their own patterns and styles, which for many collectors, produced some of the most sought after pieces.  Companies marketed this beautiful glass under the monikers of jadite , jadeite , jade glass , jad-ite , jade-ite , so however you want to spell it, let it draw you in for a closer look.  If you want a thorough history of the origins of jadeite, collectors’ pricing, patterns & shapes (don’t forget the reproductions in 2000), I highly suggest picking up the book by Joe Keller & David Ross called, Jadei