Nice catch on the planes, but watch out, it's more addictive than crack.
I've got a bunch of those from our family's old boatbuilding shed, got them just before it fell down, in fact. How are they used? I was thinking you'd need a shooting board or something to keep the plane aligned with the work peice. One of mine was made by H. Chapin, and the internet indicates that he operated his plane making business from 1826-1851. He was born in 1799, and died in 1866. So even if the plane was made in the last year that his business operated, it would be 155 years old.
If anyone has some info on the proper use of these things, I'm sure the rest of us would like to know.
Some have their own built in fence, others index on a straight edge guide board clamped to the work piece. The cutters are generally bedded at a quite high angle which helps render a decent cut, though making the plane a bit harder to push. It is important that the profile of the cutter match just right to the profile of the plane, but I've been pleasantly surprised with the old ones I've gotten that they haven't had the blades butchered. The tough part for me is still getting just the right depth of cut.
I haven't decided on using my planes yet, but I don't think they carry a lot of value as collector's items. One of these days I'll clean and sharpen the cutters and bring these old tools to life. Personaly, I think that's a better use for them, as many years of salt air has preserved the wood, but rusted the cutters.
I just picked up a box of molding planes and will be putting them on eBay if anyone is interested. I'd also consider selling them direct if you'd care to consider that. I'd send you a Paypal Invoice and you could pay that way.