Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
This free content was born digital. All rights reserved.
The term denotes a roughly squared piece of TIMBER, and it is sometimes used technically to designate the timber coming from the Baltic, hence 'DEAL Balks'. Randle Holme described 'a Baulk' as 'a piece of Fir unslit from four to ten inches square' and 'of any length' [Holme (2000)]. John Houghton reported that in 1694-5 much TIMBER came from Sweden in the form of balks, rather less from DANTZIG [Houghton].
A ball cant has not been found in the dictionaries, and only once in the Dictionary Archive, where it was listed among some HARNESS as 'j Balle kant for a Cart' [Inventories (1634)]. 'Ball' is an uncommon seventeenth-century term for the NAVE of a wheel. Whether that was what was meant here, and what the addition of 'cant' meant is not clear.
A WATER made both for medicinal purposes, and then usually under its Latin label of AQUA MELISSA, and as a pleasant beverage. The main flavouring ingredient for the latter came from the lemon-scented leaves of BALM, in Latin Melissa OFFICINALIS, although Mrs Leyel gives a modern recipe that includes also LEMON PEEL, ANGELICA root and various spices as well, all distilled in BRANDY [Leyel (1937, pb 1987)].
The terms band and BOND were virtually interchangeable. The term had several meanings, some of which are found in the Dictionary Archive. All have some sense of a strip of material of some sort. In its simplest meaning a band was a string or the like with which any loose things could be bound; for example, a BAVIN BAND and 'the Band of every such Fagot' regulated at 24 INCH 'about besides the knot' [Acts (1553)], and 'the Pair of Bands with which any Bundle or Truss of Hay shall be bound', which must not weigh more than 5 LB [Acts (1796)]. John Houghton mention that HAZEL was useful to make such bands [Houghton]. In this sense, too, a band was used to keep together a BUNDLE of BASKET RODs. Bands were also used for binding edges; hence HANDLEBAND, STAY BAND and TAPE BAND.
Much more commonly the term was used for a COLLAR of LINEN worn about the neck of a SHIRT or SMOCK. The style of band in this sense varied over the period depending on fashion, so it went under a variety of names including FALLING BAND, FLANDERS BAND, LACE BAND, NECK BAND, ROLLED BAND, RUFF BAND, SHIRT BAND and PENNY WARE BAND. In some cases bands were fixed by a BAND STRING and kept in a BAND BOX.
Almost as common was the HATBAND that provided a decorative and fashionable feature on headware. Again this went under a number of names such as CAP BAND, CREWEL BAND, CYPRESS BAND, FEATHER BAND and MODE BAND. Other items of APPAREL included KEY BAND, SLEEVE BAND and SWATHING BAND.
Bands were also made of LEATHER and were items of HARNESS as BACK BAND, BELLY BAND, BREECH BAND, CROP BAND and SADDLE BAND, and were occasionally used for items of IRONWARE such as DOOR BAND and IRON BAND.
As an article of neckware: Found described as COARSE, COLOURED, CUTWORK, FRAME WORK, NEW, OLD, PLAIN, SILVER, SMALL, spring, straight
As used with a hat: Found described as BLACK, FRINGE Found made of ALAMODE, BRAID, COPPER, ITALIAN CRAPE, PLUSH, SHAG, SILK, STUFF
Found in units of DOZEN, GROSS
A BOX for BANDs or RUFFs; later applied more generally to a box for COLLARs, CAPs, HATs or millinery. For example, a band box stolen in 1780 contained 'a blue stripe and spotted Gingham Gown; also a white silk Cloak and Bonnet' [Newspapers (1780)].
John Houghton suggested that band boxes were made of 'the thin lamina of scale of this wood [BEECH] (as our Cutlers call it)' [Houghton], though they were presumably then covered to give a more decorative finish. In 1634 an 'Engine' was patented, 'for cutting timber into thin pieces or scales, for making bandboxes ...' [Patents (1635)]. Nearly a century later, another patent protected a method of making them with LEATHER [Patents (1790)]. Such interest by innovators suggests that the band box was a desirable item of trade.
The tasselled ties that were threaded through the collar or BAND in order to fasten it. In 1662, their importation was prohibited along with many other items of HABERDASHERY [Acts (1662)]. A band string was some times called a band POINT as in 'Remnant of band pyntes', confusingly found listed among some hardware [Inventories (1632)].
Band string twist
A term properly applied to the rich yellow or red SILK - HANDKERCHIEF, with diamond spots left white by pressure applied to prevent them receiving the dye. Such handkerchiefs were known in South India as PULLICATE handkerchiefs. Cloth dyed in this way in Upper India was known as Chunri. Bandannas were included by Milburn among INDIAN - PIECE GOODS imported from Bengal. The earliest date given by Yule is c1590. Surprisingly, bandannas have not been located in the Dictionary Archive, although they were quite commonly referred to elsewhere.
Either a broad BELT worn over the shoulder and across the breast, from which a WALLET might be suspended at the side, or more especially a belt worn by soldiers to assist in supporting the MUSKET. Usually this type had attached to it up to 12 little cases, each containing a charge for the musket. Later the bandoleer became a shoulder belt fitted with loops, in which cartridges were suspended and the job of supporting the musket was taken over by a MUSKET REST; hence entries like 'one old Musket rest & Bandeleire' [Inventories (1682)].