About Moulded Jelly

Moulded Jelly

Moulded jellies have been used as elaborate centrepieces from medieval times.

Complicated subjects were moulded in coloured and decorated jelly (the basic jelly produced from calves' feet) for magnificent occasions from royal to religious festivals. Everything associated with the making of the jelly was both hard work, laborious and therefore expensive! This was reflected in the elaborate style of moulds which were made in a variety of materials including ceramic. (An excellent account of the history of jellies can be found in Sally Kevill-Davies's book detailed at the bottom of this page)

Spode, and later Copeland, made jelly moulds from the late 1700s into the 21st century and jellies eventually became simpler to make and commercially available rather than the hours of boiling down calves' feet to get the right consistency. Jelly moulds from the late 1700s/early 1800s can be seen in the museum at Spode. The Spode/Copeland 1902 catalogue illustrates dozens of different shapes and sizes with wonderful names which conjure up a bygone era. Turks Cap; Doric, and Khiva; Steeple, New Gothic and Sandringham are just a few. The company became one of the most prolific jelly mould makers of the period.

Jelly moulds could be commissioned to a special design. For example Copeland's made one with crossed tennis rackets, tennis balls and nets and example of which is in the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum. In more recent years jelly moulds have begun to be collected and displayed as decorative items rather than used as kitchen items and in 2002 Spode launched a range of decorative jelly moulds for use and/or display.

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