It’s hard to put a price on a good old-fashioned cast-iron skillet, especially a well-seasoned one. But to part with $8,000 for an antique skillet from Ebay, that thing better be plated in gold—or at least have one heck of a story attached to it.
As it turns out, there’s quite the market for vintage cast-iron skillets. And when it comes to collectible skillets, not only is Griswold’s ERIE “Spider Skillet” the cream of the crop, it also comes with quite the story.
Produced by Griswold Manufacturing in the late 19th century, according to Gear Patrol, the exceedingly rare skillet can be identified by a stamp of a spider in a web on its base. The origin of the Spider Skillet is unclear, and it is the only Griswold skillet ever to be emblazoned with an arachnid.
The best guess comes from Roy G. Meadows of the Wagner & Griswold Society, who reportedly discovered internal Griswold Manufacturing communications suggesting that the spider was inspired by the trademark of Robert the Bruce, the Scottish king who fought to free Scotland from English rule. “As the little spider brought success to Robert Bruce, so cooking utensils bearing this trademark brings success to all who use them,” the documents state.
WATCH: How To Season A Cast-Iron Skillet
The pans are believed to have been produced between 1890 and 1891 and were pulled from production shortly thereafter. Interestingly, the spider on the base was embossed rather than inset, meaning it protruded from the pan, and could leave a sort of stamp wherever it was placed.
So, thanks to their short production period and mysterious spider feature, it’s not so hard to see how a mint condition Spider skillet can fetch a considerable price—like the one currently listed on Ebay with a starting bid of a scorching $8,000.
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