Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Home Beautiful: A Gingerbread Mould, 1830-70

Gingerbread Mould
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Wooden moulds like this one were used to impress patterns on the top surface of pieces of gingerbread.
  Such formed gingerbread novelties have been popular for centuries and were often enjoyed at fairs.  Pieces of gingerbread with gold leaf applied on top were sometimes called “fairings” (not to be confused with the porcelain trinkets and prizes which use the same name).  There was, perhaps most famously, a gingerbread stall at St Bartholomew's Fair, held in London every year from 1123 until 1850.

This mould of beech wood, as was typical of English examples, features a picture on each side. On one side of the mould is a horse-drawn coach with a driver. On the other, we see a man in a top hat on a hobby horse--an early bicycle without pedals which was pushed along by the feet (from 1817-1830).

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