Melt shortening in a 3 or 4 quart saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; let cool. Add sugar, molasses and egg; beat well.
Sift together flour, baking soda, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add to first mixture. Mix well. Chill at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Form in 1 inch balls, roll in granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheets two inches apart. Bake in moderately hot oven, 375°F, 8 - 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven while they still look soft, because they flatten out as they cool.