Ferranti Jelly Mould Radios
With any collecting hobby, there are always particular items that have their own unique nicknames invariably drawn from more familiar everyday items. A series of upright rectangular bakelite receivers manufactured by Ferranti are a particular case in point.
As with many classic collectables, the Ferranti "jelly moulds" have a unique styling that proved popular through five models manufactured from 1935 to the final set in 1945.
The rounded shoulders and large speaker grill gives the set an almost "robotic" feel, coupled with a machine-age desirability that seems to have acquired it"s roots from 1930"s American sci-fi.
The company of Ferranti Ltd, manufactured radio receivers from Manchester in the early 1930"s, but despite it"s long history, Ferranti sets today are comparatively scarce. During the early 1950"s Ferranti started to produce computers, and moved entirely into this field by the end of the decade. Ekco radio took over the radio production wing, and they too were later taken over by Philips.
The very first "jelly mould" was the Ferranti "Nova Consolette" in 1935. Interestingly, the styling of the knobs is not unlike those of earlier "Lancastria" and "Arcadia" series, and perhaps this was intended to be a bakelite companion to them. But without doubt, this new style became the prototype of a series in their own right.
1936 saw the second version, the "Parva",(not illustrated) which had the more familiar round knobs and all brown bakelite cabinet. In 1937, Ferranti launched the model 837, which undoubtedly was the more desireable version. A much larger tuning dial clearly marked with the stations of the day, certainly made this set stand out from the crowd!
1938 heralded a second "Nova" which had a cabinet shaped very much more like a robot head. (If you are familiar with the TV series, "Dr Who" from the 1960"s and 70"s - you would have noticed that the robotic monsters called "Cybermen" had similarly shaped heads!)
World War II put paid to any further releases, and it wasn"t until 1945 that the final model 145 was released. It was quite clear that this set was a late issue pre-war set, and was quite old fashioned by contemporary 1940"s styling.
Today, the series of "jelly mould" radios are not cheap. A first rate model 837 could set you back over £300, whilst the other sets are worth between £200 and £280. Remember that condition is always critical when spending out hard earned cash on expensive radios!
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