15 Most Valuable Cast Iron Skillet (Identifying & Valuing)

Cast iron skillets survive for centuries—when taken care of, they get better with time. Old, well-seasoned cast iron skillets feature a non-stick patina that makes them more attractive to collectors.

New kitchenware collectors, however, often find it hard to identify antique cast iron skillet markings. Moreover, since cast iron skillets tend to be passed on for generations, most families today hold antique skillets that could be worth a lot of money in the market.

The antique cast iron skillet value is influenced by various factors, including age and condition. The most valuable pieces can set you back as much as $1,300, while you can find a decent antique iron skillet for under $100. 

If you are wondering, “how can I tell how old my cast iron skillet is?” or how to identify the antique cast iron skillet value, this detailed antique cast iron skillet identification guide is for you. We will answer all the questions you might have about collecting or selling antique cast iron skillets.

Let’s jump right into it!

Antique Cast Iron Skillet Identification Guide: How to Identify Antique Cast Iron Skillets

When identifying antique cast iron skillets, there are several things you can use—these include:

1. Old Cast Iron Skillet Brands

Many manufacturers were involved in the production of antique cast iron skillets. However, the most notable—and the most looked for—old cast iron skillet brands did imprint their skillets with maker’s marks and logos.

However, not every antique skillet is marked. Therefore, you cannot just rely on the bottom antique cast iron skillet markings for identification. The following old cast iron skillet brands perform admirably in the kitchen:

Selden & Griswold

Selden & Griswold
Source: ebay

Established in 1873 as Selden & Griswold, this company later dropped half its name to become just Griswold. The company operated until 1957.

Lodge Manufacturing Co.

Lodge Manufacturing Co.
Source: ebay

The Lodge Manufacturing Co. started producing skillets in 1896, with production running until today. For this reason, the company has antique cast iron skillet markings and vintage cast iron skillet markings.

Wagner Manufacturing Co.

Wagner Manufacturing Co.
Source: ebay

This company started operating five years earlier than Lodge Manufacturing Co. in 1891. The company closed its doors in 1952.

Vollrath Manufacturing Co.

Vollrath Manufacturing Co.
Source: ebay

This company was in operation between 1884 and the 1960s. After Griswold, Vollrath Manufacturing Co. boasts some of the oldest antique cast iron skillet markings. The company, however, does have newer, vintage cast iron skillet markings.

Atlanta Stove Works

Atlanta Stove Works
Source: ebay

This company started producing kitchenware in 1898. Atlanta Stove Works stopped its production in 1957.

Wapak Hollow Ware Co.

Wapak Hollow Ware Co.

Wapak Hollow Ware Co. had a concise run. The company started operating in 1903, with its production running until 1926.

Favorite Stove and Range Co.

Favorite Stove and Range Co.
Source: ebay

This company started operating in 1889. The company’s production ran for 46 years, ending in 1935.  

2. Use Google

While antique cast iron skillet markings and vintage cast iron skillet markings can make your work easier during identification, you may come across skillets that lack the marks. When that happens, you can take use Google.

Simply take a clear image of your pan and use Google Lens to search for it. If you are lucky, Google can help you narrow down the old cast iron skillet brands that produced the skillet.

3. Check the Bottom

While looking for the bottom antique cast iron skillet markings, you may also want to check the shape of the skillet’s bottom. While cast iron skillets have not changed much over the years, their cooktops have changed.

We used log fires and stone hearths for cooking in the early days. Next, we moved to charcoal grills, then electric coils, and now we have induction plates. The designs of cast iron skillets are also adjusted to keep up—this means that the skillet cooking surface may also be a good hint.

For example, some skillets will feature recessed heating rings that attach to the outer edge, providing a snug fit to the electric heating filament.

Other skillets may feature 3 or 4 projecting nodes that allow you to use them on electric and gas cookers. The latest skillets will have concave bottoms that enable maximum heat distribution.

4. Inspect The Spout

Inspect The Spout
Source: etsy

Another distinguishing factor for cast iron skillets is the sides:

  • Frying pans tend to be shallower than skillets
  • Saute skillets will feature straight sides, while the frying skillets will have flared sides
  • In older skillets, the pour spouts were bigger
  • Older skillets had two spouts, unlike modern skillets, which tend to have one

5. Check the Handle

Modern cast iron skillets tend to have an additional mini handle. The handles are riveted onto the skillet’s bowl and are usually manufactured using stainless steel.

Antique cast iron skillets feature integrated handles that are extensions—or part—of the bowl with no rivets or screws. They also feature a smooth finish, unlike the newer cast iron skillets, which may have grooved silicone grips.

How Can I Tell How Old My Cast Iron Skillet Is?

This antique cast iron skillet identification guide won’t be complete unless we show you how to date your skillets. After using the bottom antique cast iron skillet markings or vintage cast iron skillet markings to tell the old cast iron skillet brands responsible for your skillet, use the following steps to figure out when the pan was produced:

Feel the Skillet’s Weight

Pick up your cast iron skillet and feel its weight. Antique cast iron skillets tend to be pretty heavy. On average, the weight will be about 12 pounds; on the low side, it will be 4 pounds.

The standard size for antique skillets was about 12 inches in diameter—at this size, the weight of the skillet will be approximately 8 pounds. The weight, however, will scale up or down depending on how big your pan is.

Check the Manufacturing Brand

Some old cast iron skillet brands did include their logos on the pans. Suppose you determine when the company responsible for the skillet was in operation. In that case, it should be easy for you to figure out the period when the skillet was produced.

It is also worth noting that most skillet producers changed how they did their branding on cast iron skillets. Having this in mind may help you narrow down the manufacturing period.

Look At the Texture

Older cast iron skillets had a smoother surface. Therefore, if the skillet has a rougher texture, it is newer and not an antique.

Look for the Gate Mark

The gate mark refers to a raised scar or slash that often sits at the bottom of the pan. Cast iron skillets featuring gate marks are usually old since they were produced using an ancient casting technique that was extremely common in the 1800s. However, this casting technique was discontinued in the 1890s.

Made in The USA  

Made in The USA  
Source: etsy

After the 1960s, the cast iron skillets produced in the United States featured a “Made in USA” label. However, this was not the case before the 1960s. Therefore, if your pan has some numbers, chances are it was made later in the 20th century.

Use Books for Dating

If your pan has a logo, you can take advantage of books to determine when it was made and how old it is. Some of the best resources, in this case, include:

  • Smith and Wafford—Blue Book– This book carries information on cast iron skillets produced by Favorite Co., Sidney Hollow Ware, Wapak, Griswold & Wagner.
  • Smith & Wafford—Red Book– This book has information on cast iron skillets produced by Excelsior, Lodge, Martin, Wagner & Griswold, and Vollrath.

Antique Cast Iron Skillet Value: Factors Affecting the Value of Cast Iron Skillets  

Age

Most collectors will prefer the oldest pieces. To them, these pieces boast the most extended history. For this reason, a cast iron skillet produced in the 19th century will be costlier than one built in the early 20th century.

Condition

While collectors prefer the oldest skillets, they do not prefer getting skillets that show extreme wear and tear. Some of the signs that could lower the value of an antique skillet include the following:

Rusting

Rusting
Source: bit

Old antique cast iron skillets may rust to varying degrees without proper care. In cases where the rust is too much or too hard to remove, the value of the skillet may dip.

Warping

Warping
Source: bit

Warping generally occurs in the middle of cooking, especially when an uneven hit distribution is on the skillet’s bottom. Unfortunately, distortion makes using the skillet harder, especially when using modern, flat-topped stones. For this reason, warping tends to lower the value of antique skillets.

Brand

Some brands are more loved than others. For example, collectors are always looking for antique skillets manufactured by Griswold. Due to this brand’s high demand for skillets, its pans feature a higher value.

Tips for Valuing Antique Cast Iron Skillets

If you have an antique skillet you would like to sell; the following tips should help you get paid the right amount of money:

Check Major Auction Websites

If you have reached this point in our antique cast iron skillet identification guide, we assume you already know how to identify and date your skillet. After identifying your skillet, check on auction websites to see if you can see a similar skillet.

If you find a similar skillet on the auction website, the price could be similar to what you have in your hands.

Talk to a Professional Appraiser

A professional appraiser can help you figure out many more details about your antique cast iron skillet. Moreover, they may help you determine a more accurate value for the skillet.

15 Antique Cast Iron Skillets Worth A lot of money

No.
Name
Cost (USD)
1. 
Griswold Large Logo Matching Skillet Set
$1,699
2. 
Antique Wapak Hollow Ware #12 Skillet
$1,350
3. 
Griswold #2 Slant Logo Cast Iron Skillet
$1,250
4. 
Griswold #14 Cast Iron Skillet
$1,200
5. 
Seasoned Griswold Cast Iron Skillet
$999.99
6. 
Griswold #4 LBL 702A Skillet
$899.99
7. 
Griswold #14 Large Block Logo Skillet
$899
8. 
Griswold #14 Erie PA Skillet
$895
9. 
Favorite Piqua Ware #11 Cast Iron Skillet
$849
10. 
Favorite Piqua Smiley Logo Skillet
$799
11. 
Griswold #4 Unmarked Skillet
$799
12. 
Lodge Black Lock Cast Iron Skillet
$695
13. 
Wapak #8 Hollow Ware Skillet
$599
14. 
Hanging Tripple Griddle Hanging Gate-Marked Skillet
$599
15. 
Favorite Piqua Ware #12 Cast Iron Skillet
$499

1. Griswold Large Logo Matching Skillet Set

Griswold Large Logo Matching Skillet Set
Source: ebay

This set boasts Griswold as the manufacturing company. The collection carries a total of 8 cast iron skillets, whose sizes range from 3-inch diameter to 10-inch diameter.

All the cast iron skillets are in good condition and do not show any signs of wear and tear. Their impressive condition could be why they have already managed to catch the attention of 23 interested buyers. These skillets are listed on eBay for $1,699.

2. Antique Wapak Hollow Ware #12 Skillet

Antique Wapak Hollow Ware #12 Skillet
Source: ebay

This antique cast iron skillet set dates back to 1900 and 1920—it has been in use for at least a century. However, the 12-inch, 8-pound skillet does not show any damage.

The black antique skillet is round and designed to work perfectly with gas and electric cookers. To add this piece to your collection, you will spend $1,350.

3. Griswold #2 Slant Logo Cast Iron Skillet

Griswold #2 Slant Logo Cast Iron Skillet
Source: ebay

This vintage cast iron skillet was produced in the United States by Griswold. The black skillet is still in excellent condition and does not show significant warping signs or rust.

This piece is currently listed on eBay for $1,250. It boasts a heat ring that makes it perfect for modern cooking on gas and electric cookers.

4. Griswold #14 Cast Iron Skillet

Griswold #14 Cast Iron Skillet
Source: ebay

If you have $1,200 to spend on an antique skillet, Griswold #14 Cast Iron Skillet might appeal to you. The skillet shows unmistakable signs of wear—for example, rust. However, the skillet can be quickly restored to a “like new” condition with some basic polishing.

The seller notes that the skillet is compatible with the gas stove. When we last checked the listing for the skillet, 17 people had already expressed interest in buying it.

5. Seasoned Griswold Cast Iron Skillet

Seasoned Griswold Cast Iron Skillet
Source: ebay

This antique cast iron skillet dates back to the 1920s. The seller notes that the skillet has been seasoned, which has managed to keep the rust away.

Ideal for both gas and electric stoves, the skillet is reportedly ready for immediate use. The skillet is listed on eBay for $999.99 and has 42 people who have expressed interest in purchasing it.

6. Griswold #4 LBL 702A Skillet

Griswold #4 LBL 702A Skillet
Source: ebay

This vintage cast iron skillet appears to be in mint condition—while it has been used before, it has a new look. This could be why it managed to catch the interest of 11 people on eBay.

The seller notes that the skillet is not warped apart from the heat ring. The fact that it lays flat means it can work with modern-day stoves. To get the Griswold #4 LBL 702A Skillet, you will spend $899.99.

7. Griswold #14 Large Block Logo Skillet

Griswold #14 Large Block Logo Skillet
Source: ebay

This antique cast iron skillet from Griswold is one of the most flexible skillets we have come across. The skillet works with gas, electric, and induction cookers.

The seller notes that the skillet is in perfect condition and does not feature repairs or cracks. This skillet is listed on eBay for $899 and has 15 people interested in acquiring it.

8. Griswold #14 Erie PA Skillet

Griswold #14 Erie PA Skillet
Source: ebay

This black skillet from Griswold boasts a diameter of 14 inches—this makes it one of the bigger skillets we have on this list. Although black, the skillet shows signs of wear that line with decades of use. The skillet, however, is not in bad shape.

The skillet is currently listed on eBay for $895. Interestingly, more than 35 people are already willing to purchase it.

9. Favorite Piqua Ware #11 Cast Iron Skillet

Favorite Piqua Ware #11 Cast Iron Skillet
Source: ebay

This skillet is compatible with various cooking methods—you can use it with an electric, gas, or induction cooker. While the antique skillet does feature some signs of cosmetic wear, it is still in excellent condition.

The seller has listed the skillet on eBay for $849. Interestingly, 22 people had already expressed their interest in purchasing the skillet.

10. Favorite Piqua Smiley Logo Skillet

Favorite Piqua Smiley Logo Skillet
Source: ebay

Designed and produced by Favorite Stove and Range Co., this antique has been around for over a century, earning it an antique status. While one would assume that the skillet would be damaged after such a long period of use, this is not the case—while it does have some cosmetic wear, it is not in bad shape.

The skillet sits flat, which makes it compatible with gas, electric, and induction cooking. You can get this antique skillet from eBay at $799.

11. Griswold #4 Unmarked Skillet

Griswold #4 Unmarked Skillet
Source: ebay

One of the oldest skillets produced by Griswold, this antique piece does not carry the company’s logo. Yet, surprisingly, the skillet does not feature much damage even with its age.

The seller notes that the skillet’s factory swirls are visible, and the skillet can be used on electric, gas, and induction cookers. The skillet is listed on eBay for $799.

12. Lodge Black Lock Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge Black Lock Cast Iron Skillet
Source: ebay

Produced by a company known as Lodge, this piece has been around for more than 125 years. The skillet was manufactured in 1896.

It has been maintained in excellent condition—the fact that it does not feature any warping makes it perfect for use with induction, gas, and electric cookers. This piece is listed on eBay for $695.

13. Wapak #8 Hollow Ware Skillet

Wapak #8 Hollow Ware Skillet
Source: ebay

Produced by the Wapak brand, which operated between 1903 and 1926, this skillet is at least 100 years old. What’s impressive is that it is in excellent condition and sits perfectly on electric and gas cookers.

The skillet boasts 8 inches in diameter and a depth of 2.5 inches. You can add this piece to your collection if you are willing to spend $599.

14. Hanging Tripple Griddle Hanging Gate-Marked Skillet

Hanging Tripple Griddle Hanging Gate-Marked Skillet
Source: ebay

The oldest skillet on this list, this Hanging Tripple Griddle Hanging Gate-Marked Skillet, was produced in the first half of the nineteenth century—between 1800 and 1850. The skillet features a hand-forged hanger and is gate-marked at the bottom.

The antique skillet is unbranded and predates the earliest old cast iron skillet brands like Erie, Griswold, and Wagner. However, the skillet is still in good condition despite being about two centuries old. To add this to your collection, you will need $599.

15. Favorite Piqua Ware #12 Cast Iron Skillet

Favorite Piqua Ware #12 Cast Iron Skillet
Source: ebay

Boasting a 12-inch diameter, this Favorite Piqua Ware #12 Cast Iron Skillet is medium-sized. Sitting perfectly flat on the cooking surface, the skillet can be used with induction, electric, and gas cooking surfaces.

According to the seller, this piece is in good condition and only shows some very minimal signs of wear and tear. To add this piece to your collection, you will need $499. The cast iron skillet has attracted 11 interested buyers at this price.

Overview

Antique cast iron skillets were built to last—if they are well-seasoned and taken care of, skillets over a hundred years could look new today. Collectors are generally interested in old pieces that are in good condition. This antique cast iron skillet identification guide shows you how to identify valuable antique and vintage skillets.

Taking time to check the bottom antique cast iron skillet markings and vintage cast iron skillet markings should help you determine old cast iron skillet brands. In addition, our guide on identifying antique cast iron skillet value will ensure you are not getting overcharged—or underpaid—for a skillet.

We hope this guide has given you all the answers you need to be a better skillet collector. However, if there is something we missed, let us know in the comments.  

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