Ice moulds (often described as ‘jelly moulds’)
These were created to meet the demand for the spectacular ices, without which no fashionable Victorian and Edwardian dinner table would be complete. Larger, pillar shaped, moulds were a peculiarly English style and were made in 3 parts – a central fluted column, a top, decorated with flowers or fruit, and a base. Three-part hinged moulds were designed to make it possible to remove more complex shapes. The rather plain exterior is misleading. Open the moulds up and admire the finely detailed and decorative interior.
Smaller individual moulds, often shaped as pieces of fruit, flowers, animals or birds, were also made. They were usually manufactured in 2 halves, hinged together, so that front and back of the design could be shown. These smaller moulds were manufactured more widely as they were popular in the United States and Europe as well as Britain .
English pewter ice moulds were mainly produced from 1850 up to as late as 1910. American moulds were still being made in the 1940s.
Ice cream was made by freezing the mixture in a lidded pewter container with a rounded base called a sorbetier which, in its turn, was put in a wooden tub full of ice and turned regularly so that the mixture froze evenly. Salt was added to the ice to speed up the process. When the mixture was fairly stiff it was put into the moulds and frozen until firm in the ice pail.