Isopie - Ivory leaves

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

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This term has been noted only once in the Dictionary Archive as 'Syrop [SYRUP] of isopie' among the APOTHECARY goods of a Worcester mercer [Inventories (1573)]. Although HYSSOP is found elsewhere in this inventory spelt more correctly, it is probably what was intended here.

Not found in the OED

Sources: Inventories (early).

Issue pea

A PEA or any similar body, such as a piece of the root of ivy [OED, Issue], an ORANGE PEA or an ORRIS PEA placed inside an issue (that is, a natural or artificial ulcer) to maintain the irritation and promote the secretion of pus [Lloyd (1895)]. Although one quotation dated 1657 in the OED suggests they could be used on their own, the contexts of one or two references in the Dictionary Archive suggest they were used in conjunction with an ISSUE PLASTER as in, 'Bowden's issue plaisters, with small Peas for ditto' [Newspapers (1760)].

OED earliest date of use: 1657 under Issue

References: Lloyd (1895).

Issue plaster

A form of medicinal PLASTER apparently made for use with a ISSUE PEA as in 'Bowden's issue plaisters, with small Peas for ditto' [Newspapers (1760)]. The term is neither found in the OED nor other dictionaries, but issue plasters were commonly advertised in the eighteenth century, sometimes with proprietary names such as 'Bowden's and Sandwell's Issue Plaister' [Newspapers (1757)], and 'Greenough's Issue Plaisters' [Tradecards (1790s)]. A feature of these advertised plasters was that they would 'stick without Filleting' and 'had an Agreeableness of Scent' [Newspapers (1760)].

Not found in the OED

Found described as CURIOUS

Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.

Italian cream ball

A form of WASH BALL promoted in the eighteenth-century with such phrases as

'fine Italian Savonetts and Cream Balls to keep the hands smooth and white'

[Newspapers (1760)]. Describing a product as ITALIAN was often used to give an air of FASHION and fashionability as well as high quality, rather than any reference to the place or country of origin.

Not found in the OED

Found described as 'to keep the hands smooth and white', FINE

Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.

Italian fish sauce

According to the OED, FISH SAUCE was one made to be eaten with FISH. However, Italian fish sauce seems to have been a more specific product than that. It was a PREPARED SAUCE included among a list of RICH SAUCEs, most of which are known to have been highly spiced or highly flavoured [Tradecards (19c.)]. Apart from this, there is nothing known about its composition, or why it was attributed to Italy. There were, however, several other sauces intended for use with fish.

Not found in the OED online

Sources: Tradecards.

Italian hemp

Along with BRACK HEMP and LONG HEMP, Italian hemp was of sufficient quality to be used in the making of BOLT for SAIL CLOTH [Acts (1736)]. It was recorded in the Gloucester Coastal Port Books between 1679 and 1730.

OED earliest date of use: 1883; 'Italians' used elliptically to denote Italian hemp and TOW.

Found for sale measured by BAG

Sources: Acts, Newspapers.

Italian powder

A term not found in the dictionaries. The only two examples in the Dictionary Archive appear in promotional material the one of a seller of colours, or colourman, who claimed it to be for 'Cleaning Pictures' [Tradecards (1740)], the other of a seller of quack medicine for 'cleaning the Teeth' [Newspapers (1750)]. The use of 'Italian' in the name probably did not denote the place of origin, but was included to denote quality and fashion - a selling factor even in such a mundane articles.

Not found in the OED

Found used for Cleaning pictures, Cleaning teeth

Sources: Newspapers, Tradecards.

Itch water

[water for the itch; water for curing the itch]

'Itch' was a label applied to a variety of skin conditions from mild irritations to leprosy. More specifically it was the popular name of scabies. Perhaps because problems of the skin were so prevalent, preparations that supposedly effected a cure were common and much hyped; hence the 'Never failing Itch Water ... used and approved for upwards of an hundred Years', prepared and sold by John Davis of Shrewsbury [Newspapers (1750)].

Not found in the OED online

Found described as FAMOUS
Found in units of BOTTLE

Sources: Newspapers.

Ivory black

[ivory & lamp black]

A fine, soft BLACK pigment obtained by calcining IVORY in a close-stopped CRUCIBLE. The term was sometimes loosely applied to 'bone black'. LAMP BLACK was a similar product used for many of the same purposes, but made in a different way.

OED earliest date of use: 1634

See also LAMP BLACK.
Sources: Inventories (late), Tradecards.

Ivory box

[ivory-box; ivory boxe; ivo: meddall boxe]

Some examples found in the Dictionary Archive like the '1 Doz: Ivo: Meddall Boxes' valued at 9s [Inventories (1694)] were simply small decorative boxes made of IVORY, and probably with a removable lid, rather than a hinged one. However, the entry for '4 Ivory boxes with balls and Allabaster and other Ivory toyes' [Inventories (1671)] suggests something more. Possibly such an ivory box was was a solid piece of ivory hollowed out in such a way that some was left inside shaped into the form of balls. It was in fact an ornament or TOY rather than a receptacle.

Not found in the OED

Sources: Inventories (mid-period).

Ivory comb

[yu'y combe; ivory, tortoiseshell, horn and box combs; ivory, tortoise-shell, and horn combs; ivory, tortoise-shell and horn combs; ivory tortoiseshell horn and box combs; ivory combe; ivory box & horn combs; ivory bone horn tortoise-shell and box combs; ivorie coome; ivery combe; ivery comb; iverey combe]

A COMB made of IVORY, one of the several types normally stocked by shopkeepers. Ivory, or ELEPHANTS TOOTH as it was often called, was capable of precision working and so used for making combs with fine teeth like the DANDRUFF COMB. It was for this purpose that Randle Holme probably included 'A Set of Ivory Combs, with fine Teeth, and toothed on both sides' among his list of Barbers' equipment as well as 'An Ivory Beard Comb' [Holme (2000)]. They were among the most expensive combs available, invariably being valued above other types like the BOX COMB or the HORN COMB and the coarse WOOD COMB. Because of the price they could fetch, manufacturers were tempted to make false ivory combs. Apparently by the 1790s this was so well accepted that a reputable tradesman could advertise BASTARD ivory combs along with the genuine type [Tradecards (1794)]. Presumably the fakes were made of BONE.

In the sixteenth century and the early seventeenth ivory combs were both rated and sometimes found in shops measured by weight; hence entries like 'a quarter of a pound of Ivory combes' [Inventories (1613)], though the practice seems to have died out after 1660.

OED earliest date of use: a1500 as a comb of ivory

Found described by COMMON, dandruff, FINE, LARGE, the middle sort, SMALL, superfine
Found in units of DOZEN, GROSS, POUND Found rated by the POUND, with their COMB CASEs

Sources: Inventories (early), Inventories (mid-period), Inventories (late), Newspapers, Patents, Rates, Tradecards.
References: Holme (2000).

Ivory leaves

Ivory leaves have been noted only once in the Dictionary Archive, in an entry for 'Handy Books, which have within Ivory Leaves, or Asses Skin' [Tradecards (1794)]. The context suggests personal use, possibly for painting miniatures [Tomlinson (1854)].

Sources: Tradecards.
References: Tomlinson (1854).