Huile antique - Hyssop water

Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550-1820. Originally published by University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 2007.

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Huile antique

Literally antique or old OIL. This substance may be found as an item of PERFUMERY in the promotional literature of eighteenth-century fashionable retailers. It was one of several items of TOILETRY that were given French names, presumably as a signal of fashionability. The anonymous author/s of 'Vegetable Substances' gave a useful description of how this oil was made:

'L'huile antique, so designated as being produced by the method in which the ancients prepared their scented oil, is ben oil impregnated with the odorous matter of flowers. Cotton soaked in the oil is placed in alternate layers with the flowers whose scent is to be obtained; a close tin or pewter vessel is used for this purpose, which when thus filled has its cover screwed down. This is digested during twenty-four hours in a water-bath; during that time the oil will gave imbibed the rich perfume of the flowers, and it is then disengaged for the cotton by pressure.' He added that when OIL OF BEN was scarce, NUT OIL was sometimes used, but the product was not then regarded as genuine [Anon (1833)]. Houghton gave a somewhat similar method of manufacturing a perfumed oil, but to which he gave no name, using what he called 'oil of behn' and the flowers of JASMINE [Houghton], that suggests the procedure was established well before the nineteenth century.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Tradecards.
References: Anon (1833).


Pertaining to the central European country of Hungary, formerly part of the Hapsburg Empire but now independent. The name became attached to various products such as HUNGARY WATER, where the association with Hungary had become remote. This may also have applied to what was called HUNGARY WINE.

OED earliest date of use: 1667

Found describing BLUE COPPERAS

Sources: Diaries, Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Rates, Recipes, Tradecards.

Hungary water

[queen of hungary's water; hungry water; hungary-water; hungary lavender and orange flower water; hungary and other waters; eau de la reine d'hongrie; ditto hungary; ag hungar]

Sometimes abbreviated to HUNGARY, SPIRITS of WINE infused with ROSEMARY were allegedly first prepared for the Queen of Hungary, hence 'Eau de la Reine d'Hongrie' [Tradecards (18c.)]. It was used alone and in a variety of medicinal preparations. Other herbs such as LAVENDER were also included in some recipes, for example [Recipes (Bradley, R.)].

Formerly known for medicinal purposes as AQUA Hungarica, in which form it may well appear in seventeenth century sources, by the mid-eighteenth century it had been renamed 'Spiritus rorismarini' or in English SPIRIT OF ROSEMARY [Pemberton (1746)]. In 1784 it was subject to a rate of duty of 2s.10d. per GALLON, more than three times the rate for BRANDY.

OED earliest date of use: 1698

Found described as FINE, FRENCH, from Montpelier, 'veritable' in the sense of TRUE
Found in units of BOTTLE, DOZEN [bottles], OUNCE Found listed under SPIRITS and rated by the GALLON

Sources: Diaries, Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Rates, Recipes, Tradecards.
References: Pemberton (1746).

Hungary wine

[wines of hungary]

WINE from HUNGARY has long been well regarded, particularly the WHITE WINE called Tokay [Schoonmaker (1964)]. Hungary wines were imported through HAMBURG, and were to be rated in the same way as RHENISH WINE after 1701 [Acts (1701)].

OED online earliest date of use: 1862 under Immensity

Sources: Acts, Rates.
References: Schoonmaker (1964).

Husbandry gear

Judging by the valuations attached to husbandry GEAR, which has been noted mostly in the north in the Dictionary Archive, the term referred either to the smaller IMPLEMENTS OF HUSBANDRY, such as the SHOVEL, SPADE or FORK, or, and less likely, to HORSE GEARS.

Sources: Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).

Husbandry ware

Husbandry ware was a term used in much the same way as IMPLEMENTS OF HUSBANDRY; that is it generally excluded heavy agricultural equipment like the CART or PLOUGH and was a generic term for the smaller tools and lesser things.

Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late).

Huss skin

[husse-skin; husse skin; huskin]

A synonym for the DOGFISH SKIN, which was much used by fletchers for smoothing and polishing ARROWs.

OED earliest date of use: 1550/1600

Found described as for Fletchers

Sources: Houghton, Rates.

Hyson tea

[hysons; hison tea]

A type of GREEN TEA. GUNPOWDER TEA was said to be no more than a variety; hence entries like 'Finest Gunpowder Hyson' priced from 16s to 18s per LB [Newspapers (1780)]. It was not unusual for dealers to have several grades of hyson tea; for example Edward Gibson from London was offering in Birmingham 'Fine Hyson 00 12 06; Finer Ditto 00 14 00; Finer Ditto 00 16 00; Finest Hyson 00 18 00' [Newspapers (1751)].

OED online earliest date of use: 1704 under Tea

Found described as FINE, finest, GOOD, superfine, very FINE
Found in units of LB, OZ, POUND

Sources: Acts, Diaries, Inventories (late), Newspapers, Tradecards.

Hyssop water

[isop water; hysope water; hissope water]

HYSSOP was esteemed for a variety of medicinal purposes. Neither John Gerard nor Nicholas Culpeper mentioned a DISTILLED water of hyssop, but the general drift of the latter's account suggests that hyssop WATER may have been used to treat pulmonary complaints [Culpeper (1792)].

Not found in the OED online

Found described as a SIMPLE WATER
Found in units of LB, PINT

Sources: Diaries, Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period).
References: Culpeper (1792).