Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.
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[skinne; skinn; skine; skene]
The outer covering of many animals, usually with the HAIR or WOOL removed in contrast to a PELT, which normally had the fur left on. Generally, a SKIN was smaller than a HIDE but larger than a KIP, but notice that HORSE SKIN is used and not 'horse hide'. Skins were often differentiated with a descriptor, for example as BUCKSKIN, DOESKIN, DOG SKIN. Without a descriptor, the term probably referred to common sorts like CALF SKIN and SHEEPSKIN. Skins were commonly TAWED or dressed with OIL, but could also be TANNED. The 1582 Book of Rates made a further differentiation between skins for LEATHER and skins for FUR, listing the two groups separately.
The following types of skin, found in the Dictionary Archive, also have individual entries.
Skins taken from mammals or birds:
ASS SKIN, BAR SKIN, BASIL SKIN, BEARSKIN, BEAVER SKIN, BUCKSKIN, CALF SKIN, CAT SKIN, CONY SKIN, DEERSKIN, DOESKIN DOG SKIN, ELK SKIN, FITCH, FITCHEW SKIN, FOX SKIN, GOATSKIN, HARE SKIN, HORSE SKIN, KID SKIN, LAMBSKIN, LION SKIN, MARTEN, MINK, MOOSE SKIN, MORSE SKIN, MUSQUASH SKIN , OUNCE SKIN, PANTHER SKIN, PIGSKIN, RABBIT SKIN, RACOON SKIN, RAM SKIN, SEALSKIN, SHEEPSKIN, SQUIRREL SKIN, STAG SKIN, SWANSKIN, TIGER SKIN
Skins taken from fish:
DOGFISH SKIN, HUSS SKIN
Skins defined by colour or process:
BLACK SKIN, CASTLING SKIN, DRIED SKIN, GOLD SKIN, GREY SKIN, OILED SKIN, WET SKIN
Skins named after place of origin:
BORDEAUX SKIN DANSK SKIN, PORTUGAL SKIN, SPANISH SKIN, SPRUCE SKIN
OED earliest date of use: 1200
Found described as Broken, of COLOURED - LEATHER, DRESSED, to dress, of FLANDERS style, Furred, Grained, LEATHER, in the Lime pits, Merchant, MILLED, PAINTED, RAW, SMALL, Tailed, at the Tanning, UNDRESSED, from VIRGINIA Found used to make APRON
Found in units of DOZEN, PAIR
Sources: Acts, Diaries, Houghton, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Patents, Rates.
A skull CAP of METAL or other hard material; a close fitting HEAD PIECE. This is the only meaning found in the Dictionary Archive, but the term could also be applied to a light close fitting cap, usually of SILK, VELVET, or other soft material for covering the head.
OED earliest date of use in this sense: 1522
Found rated by the HEAD PIECE