Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities, 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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Oleum amygdalarum amarum
The Latin term for OIL of BITTER ALMONDs. It was used largely in APOTHECARY shops, where medicinal ingredients were given in their Latin form, often heavily abbreviated, or partly in English and partly in Latin.
Oleum amygdalarum dulciarum
The Latin term for OIL of SWEET ALMONDs. It was used largely in APOTHECARY shops in which medicinal ingredients were given in their Latin form, often heavily abbreviated, or partly in English and partly in Latin.
An OIL distilled from unripe JUNIPER BERRIES, used in medicine as a stimulant and diuretic [Lloyd (1895)]. It was almost invariably given its Latin name, denoting its use in medicine. However, in a statute dated 1704 it was called 'Oil of Juniper', and included among unrated DRUGS [Acts (1704)], although it was back in the Books of Rates by 1784 [Rates (1784)]. According to John Houghton, it was also 'an excellent good varnish for pictures, for wood-work, and to preserve polished iron from rust' [Houghton].
An OIL either expressed or distilled from the leaves of ORIGANUM. Although found sometimes in English as, for example, 'Oyle of Origanum' [Inventories (1634)], it is more often found in the Latin, denoting its use in medicine, although a late-nineteenth century quotation in the OED instructed that its use for medicinal purposes should be avoided.
According to Edward Phillips' New World of English Words, the 'Oil of Philosophers' was a 'Chymical Preparation of pieces of Brick heated red hot, soak'd in Oil of Olives, and afterwards distill'd in a Retort' [Phillips (1706), quoted in the OED, Philosopher]. Ure, under Brick oil, gave much the same recipe, adding that 'Brick oil is a relic of old pharmacy' [Ure (1875)]. It was therefore a medicinal preparation, though no indication has been found as to how it was used. There is only one example in the Dictionary Archive, and this was among the stock of a merchant rather than an APOTHECARY. It seems to have been very cheap, since 6 OUNCE was valued at only 1d [Inventories (1690)].
An article of FURNITURE; possibly a LOOKING GLASS in an OLIVE - WOOD frame, although it may have been no more than an oval-shaped glass, since olive seems occasionally to have been used in this sense.
The olive plum is the name given to any tree in the genus Elæodendron, which has olive-like fruits. This is unlikely to be what has been noted in a list of preserved PLUMs of various sorts [Inventories (1624)]. More probably they were either SUGAR PLUMs of an olive-green colour, or OLIVEs preserved as a SWEET MEAT in sugar. There may have been a variety of PLUM called 'olive plum, but it was not included in the list of plums drawn up, probably by John Tradescant, in about 1620 [Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 1461].
A dark variety of cured tea. According to Simmonds' Dictionary of Trade, it possessed many of the qualities of GREEN TEA [Simmonds (1906)]. It was not imported into this country before the mid-nineteenth century.