Sheepskins

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jelayemprins
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sheepskins etc

Postby jelayemprins » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:17 am

I thought I'd raise my head from behind the posh burgundian parapet and drop this into the mix.

This is taken from Erasmus- writing about social conditions in England from 1498 through to his death in 1536. [And please don't tell me that things deteriorated that much under the Tudors....]

"Erasmus ascribes the plague and the sweating sickness partly due to the incommodious form and bad exposition of the houses, to the filthiness of the streets, and to the sluttishness within doors. The floors he says,are commonly of clay, strewn with rushes, UNDER WHICH LIES UNMOLESTED AN ANCIENT COLLECTION OF ALE, GREASE, FRAGMENTS, BONES, SPITTLE, EXCREMENTS OF DOGS AND MEN, AND EVERYTHING THAT IS NASTY."

If you want the original in latin happy to post.

[PS Erasmus liked London and lived here many years.]

So if this is life within doors in the City of London [guessing its the 'norm'] then why should tents have luxurious floor coverings. I don't expect the sh*t on the floor of tents btw :shock:

Ps Am quite pleased this has provoked such a response. At least you guys are showing some interest!

Just going back to my original quote on getting things from a market.
One of Jim Newboults best sellers [for camping] is the personal urinal, copied beautifully from an original, ladies and gents styles. YOu probably have one. [we have the ladies 'gravy boat'] and great it is...

Now because Jim makes it, and its relatively cheap piece of kit to buy, means its become common in re-enactment. Are you with me here?

How many of the Londoners described above had one? And how many would have been taken on campaign? Not everyone had wagon space, or a horse, yet alone a "pot to P155" in.

Just for fun , urine is now describe by the EU Fullers as human waste product reference P155 :)



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Sheepskins

Postby Brother Ranulf » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:28 am

Under a Euro directive it is now illegal to use the term "spend a penny".

You must say "Euronate"


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Postby Handbag » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:39 am

Fox wrote: When the public are gone I eat modern food, with a fork! :shock:


oh mi god!!!!!!!!!!

when the public are gone we normally eat whatever our vintner has cooked for us.

then go to the chippy or pizza hut!! masses of chocolate and potatoey goodness.
trouble is i am massively inauthentic and use a 2 pronged fork (not right for our period =14thC or 21stC) only when the public are gone of course!!

Im just floating around in a bubble inauthentic to the core!! (hmm and im the authenty dude around camp :roll: )



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Postby the real lord duvet » Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:27 am

we only eat when the public are on site for authenticity reasons.



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Re: sheepskins etc

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:53 pm

jelayemprins wrote:"Erasmus ascribes the plague and the sweating sickness partly due to the incommodious form and bad exposition of the houses, to the filthiness of the streets, and to the sluttishness within doors. The floors he says,are commonly of clay, strewn with rushes, UNDER WHICH LIES UNMOLESTED AN ANCIENT COLLECTION OF ALE, GREASE, FRAGMENTS, BONES, SPITTLE, EXCREMENTS OF DOGS AND MEN, AND EVERYTHING THAT IS NASTY."


Sounds like a man with an axe to grind to me. Given the old story about "them next door who keep coal in the bath", I'd say that he's doing a similar thing, Illustrating how bad things are by loudly describing them as being far worse.

I'd read that as "The floors are commonly of clay, strewn with rushes, which lay for many months, uncleaned, under which lie a collection of ale, grease, fragments, the odd bone and whatever crap came in on your shoes." Surely that will be closer to the truth (or all that disinfecting we do is a MUCH bigger waste of time than I thought :) ).

Also who's house is he describing, the wealthy or a slum?

All that said, I agree that comfort on camp will be limited to the wealthy.


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Re: sheepskins etc

Postby Fox » Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:20 pm

jelayemprins wrote:So if this is life within doors in the City of London [guessing its the 'norm'] then why should tents have luxurious floor coverings. I don't expect the sh*t on the floor of tents btw :shock:


That certainly is worth considering. Says something about the way floors in general might be thought about.

But...

<devil's advocate hat>
(1) No context for the type of house [or tent that we're talking about, for that matter].

(2) A hard, earth floor needs no covering to remain dry, etc.. A tent, which does not have a hard floor, might. Also there illustrations of tents with floor covering, I believe [see above].

(3) A tent is also a bed chamber, upper rooms or bed cahmbers might be a different context.
</devil's advocate hat>



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Postby House of De Clifford » Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:55 am

okey dokey, ere' we go!!!! let's add this into the pot!

My research as a furrier actually has found that sheepskins were worn as clothing.
A 'pilche'
"was a cloak of skins with the hair outwards, usually made of skins such as beaver or sheepskin, strong enough to keep out the worst weather. Pilches of sheepskin could be expected to last seven or eight years in monastic hands; poor people certainly made them last longer."
(The English fur trade in the middle ages, London Record Society - our 'Bible' fab read if you ever fancy it!(Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum)
)

Pilches were also made of fur for the higher classes. These were used for clothing and bedding. So if you have sheepskin bedding that's cool.... but you need to wear it down the beer tent too! :lol:

Budge; "the name common in English records from the late 13th Century, is derived from the place name, Bougie. the small moorish kingdom of Bougie in North Africa, a flourishing trade centre from the 11th to early 14th century, was exporting peleterie d'aigniaux (sheepskins) to Bruge in the 13th Century."
( London record society - again!)

The budge were imported lambskin which was used to line our clothing, generally unborn lamb, nowadays known as persian lamb or if you were a 70's hippy also known as Astrakan. Come and have a feel on our stall next time you see us!!! :roll:

Also found that in the 16th Century sheepskin was soooo popular in 'several English provincial towns there were several disputes over the sale of lamb and sheepskins' as they were very difficult to get hold of. big arguments broke out between the butchers , glovers and furriers!!!!

Apparently in Southampton glovers were told that they could not buy the sheepskins as they were only allowed to be sold to the furriers, and in Norwich in 1568, butchers were ordered to only sell them to 'craftsmen and not to strangers' ( Gidden, The book of rememberance of Southampton).

As yet i have not seen ANYONE wearing a sheepskin!!!! Just to add to the debate :twisted:

If you would liked to be bored further on the topic come and see us, next at Hastings, then Mannington, then NLHF.

Miranda x

PS "pot to P155 in" is a furriers quote. It comes from (ok yes another boring story) the tanning process. As we all know male urine was a veritable commodity down skinners row. If you were stuck for the old reddies you could alway sell your urine to the local tanner. However, if you were even worse off you were said to "not even have a pot to p155 in" so you men... keep those pots ready, and bring them down to us next time we are breaking open a rabbit. Sorry girls I have no idea how this was discovered, it was either a very drunk bloke on the way back from the local alehouse, who was caught short near a tanners pit.... or a very brainy woman!! :lol:

Oh yes, we have lots more!!!!!!!! Come and have a cuppa with us and Dave will bore you to tears!!! and I've got to live with him ................ hahahaha!!! (only joking honey!!!)


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the real lord duvet

Postby the real lord duvet » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:21 am

wearing 2 sheep like that was popular in the trenchs in WW1 too.



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Postby Handbag » Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:19 am

i have found an image from a 14th century manuscript showing a guy wearing a mantle with the fur on the outside. its taken from the meditationes Vitae Christi which was illuminated in siena circa 1340.

as soon as i can get my scanner to work i will get a pic of it up here. apparently its in the bibliotheque Nationale , Paris. but i cant get their webpage to work.

ive also read somewhere that lambskin was commonly used as a lining for the rich people!!



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Postby RottenCad » Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:27 am

Handbag wrote:ive also read somewhere that lambskin was commonly used as a lining for the rich people!!


"By" the rich people, I hope ???

(Images of skinned nobles lined with lambskin being used as proto-cagoules ...) :D


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Postby Handbag » Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:45 am

RottenCad wrote:
Handbag wrote:ive also read somewhere that lambskin was commonly used as a lining for the rich people!!


"By" the rich people, I hope ???

(Images of skinned nobles lined with lambskin being used as proto-cagoules ...) :D



hmmm now theres a thought!! :twisted: :evil:



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Postby House of De Clifford » Fri Oct 05, 2007 11:59 am

yes that is correct, Handbag, as in my post it was termed 'budge'
and we ave some!!! (shamless plug) :lol:


Miranda


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Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:35 pm

Sounds like a pilche is a cloak made of sheepskins (hair still attached), rather than just a single skin tied round the neck. Is that correct?

What period are the known in?

Many thanks


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Postby House of De Clifford » Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:57 pm

Hi Colin,

pilche are mentioned in C11 records(mainly in wills) onwards and cover any type of fur, however only sheepskin, beaver and goat for the masses, posh fur rabbit through to ermine and everything in between for rich folks.
We have rabbit pilche on display often referred to as the 'bunny blanket'.

Pilche were evolved from Viking/ dark age garments which were more raw skins/ unsewn animal ie in it's purest form. one sheepskin tied iwth string!

The fur trim that muddyevilists have adopted on garments should actually be the remnants of the full fur lining turned onto the outer part of the garment as it wasn't hemmed on the inside. Full fur Linings were always seen up to the beginning of Tudor when fashion dictated the smaller trimmings that we see mainly in re enactment nowadays.

So most clothing worn by poor or rich was fully lined with fur, especially outer cloaks,

We (me 'n' Dave)are often surprised by how little fur is utilised in the re enactment scene. I know it is often expensive, but so is armour.... and how authentic do you want to be.... To be accurately attired = buy more fur! ( please, you know you want to!))

Miranda x


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Postby m300572 » Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:14 pm

Intersting on the pot to pi$$ in - a practice that goes back to Roman times at least - Roman towns had large jars as public urinals - the contents went to the fullers and dyers for the ammonia content.

A later use for urine (16th C onwards in Britain) was in the production of alum - the Yorkshire alum works imported barels of urine from London as one of the chemical constituents used in the production process - allegedly the same barrels were used to export cheese back to London!


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Postby House of De Clifford » Fri Oct 05, 2007 1:45 pm

yes we used alum tawing for tanning skins too!
but prefer brains!!!!

Miranda


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Postby m300572 » Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:54 pm

'Twas useful stuff alum - used for tawing, dying, papermaking (no idea what process here) and was also apparently used as a fire retardent on thatch in towns.


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Postby Vicky » Fri Oct 05, 2007 5:08 pm

m300572 wrote:'Twas useful stuff alum - used for tawing, dying, papermaking (no idea what process here) and was also apparently used as a fire retardent on thatch in towns.


Also in medicine for ulcers, infected wounds etc.



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Postby Handbag » Sat Oct 06, 2007 10:30 am

House of De Clifford wrote:We (me 'n' Dave)are often surprised by how little fur is utilised in the re enactment scene. I know it is often expensive, but so is armour.... and how authentic do you want to be.... To be accurately attired = buy more fur! ( please, you know you want to!))

Miranda x


i guess many re-enactors still have modern principles for this kind of thing. they're missing out. i have a fox fur lined gown that i made for the beginning of the year to combat the cold. and its wonderfully warm. at first i was a little worried about wearing it in case i got any hassle from MOP's and indeed other re-enactors but no one has said anything other than admiring comments!!

i think it all depends on your personal morales.



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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sat Oct 06, 2007 7:39 pm

How could you? Poor little furry fox friend murdered just to appease your facistic authentic needs. I don't know how you can sleep at night? Happy now?


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Postby davetmoneyer » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:06 pm

I dont know about handbag, Dave and Miranda but I would be.
Friend to free range chucks everywhere


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Postby Dave B » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:18 pm

m300572 wrote:'Twas useful stuff alum - used for tawing, dying, papermaking (no idea what process here) and was also apparently used as a fire retardent on thatch in towns.


You have to be a bit careful there. people get confused between Aluminium sulphite, and the various true alums (potassium alum, soda alum, etc) partly because Aluminium sulpate and potasium alum were both used as mordants. they aren't all the same material though. I'm sure a proper chemist (guthrie, help) will come along and explain.


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Postby the real lord duvet » Sat Oct 06, 2007 11:30 pm

Handbag wrote:
House of De Clifford wrote:We (me 'n' Dave)are often surprised by how little fur is utilised in the re enactment scene. I know it is often expensive, but so is armour.... and how authentic do you want to be.... To be accurately attired = buy more fur! ( please, you know you want to!))

Miranda x


i guess many re-enactors still have modern principles for this kind of thing. they're missing out. i have a fox fur lined gown that i made for the beginning of the year to combat the cold. and its wonderfully warm. at first i was a little worried about wearing it in case i got any hassle from MOP's and indeed other re-enactors but no one has said anything other than admiring comments!!



nothing worse than the animal dieing an not being fully used in my view.
like the native americans didn't waste anything nor should we.

i only draw the line at obvious kitty


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Postby Hinny Annie » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:01 am

Handbag wrote: i guess many re-enactors still have modern principles for this kind of thing


Agreed, but then why dont most people have the same problem with leather shoes


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logic goes out the window.....

Postby lucy the tudor » Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:31 am

We had a strange one at an event, the lady looking at a leather bag with a bone fastening, asked if it was real bone. Then she looked doubtfully at her daughter, for whom she was considering buying the bag. I asked if the bone was a problem, she nodded sadly, "Is she a vegetarian?", nodded, " She doesn't mind that leather is skin, then?" Potential customer walked away, seeming a little affronted, next time I WILL KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT and just show them a bag with a wooden or leather fastening!
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Postby Fox » Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:42 pm

No , you should make them go without.

People should understand the world they live in.

Meat is not grown in styrofoam trays, leather is dead animal skin and, yes, it is your car causing global warming.



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Postby Handbag » Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:46 pm

Marcus Woodhouse wrote:How could you? Poor little furry fox friend murdered just to appease your facistic authentic needs. I don't know how you can sleep at night? Happy now?


much better thanks!!

I actually liberated this particular skin from a shockingly bad coat from the 60's that my fiancee had stowed from his grandma. the rest of it was in terrible condition and i only managed to save enough to do collar and sleeves on this gown.
so in my honest opinion i was saving it from either rotting away or being thrown away. :lol: :lol:



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Postby the real lord duvet » Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:21 pm

Fox wrote:No , you should make them go without.

People should understand the world they live in.

Meat is not grown in styrofoam trays, leather is dead animal skin and, yes, it is your car causing global warming.



not its not its the cows. stupid cows driving their kids to school.
but lets not turn this into holocaust denial.



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Postby House of De Clifford » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:36 am

me talking to a customer at a show, stupid father walks upto the sheepskins with his son and says "look lad polar bear"
as i looked at him my thought was this father is having a laugh with his lad, no ! i was wrong .. i said "sir they are sheepskins" to which, he fixed me with a glare, said to his son " no, they are polar bears!" and dragged his little laddy out of the tent ! :shock:
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Sheepskins

Postby Brother Ranulf » Mon Oct 08, 2007 8:19 am

Polar bear pelts were among the exotic furs described in the 12th century - Henry II apparently donated several to his favoured monks of Grandmont. So, at least in monastic circles, not beyond the realms of possibilty - a tad bigger than sheepskin, though. Henry I kept a menagerie of exotic animals at Woodstock, including camels, lynx, a porcupine and leopards.

One fur which might fit the bill in the tents of the nobility (again in the earlier period, say 12th-13th century) is wolf, but you try finding genuine and legal wolf pelts these days!. Bounties were paid by king John and subsequent kings on every wolf trapped or killed, as they were apparently rife in the royal hunting chases (even in Dorset). I doubt there were many left after the 13th century.


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