Monday 8 January 1665/66

Up, and my wife and I by coach to Bennett’s, in Paternoster Row, few shops there being yet open, and there bought velvett for a coate, and camelott for a cloake for myself; and thence to a place to look over some fine counterfeit damasks to hang my wife’s closett, and pitched upon one, and so by coach home again, I calling at the ’Change, and so home to dinner and all the afternoon look after my papers at home and my office against to-morrow, and so after supper and considering the uselessness of laying out so much money upon my wife’s closett, but only the chamber, to bed.

14 Annotations

First Reading

Robert Gertz  •  Link

"...considering the uselessness of laying out so much money upon my wife’s closett..." Yes, but think how it alleviates the justifiable guilt accumulated over this past year. Not to mention lessening the chance Bess will continue to ask what was keeping you in Greenwich so long... Consider it an investment in household peace and a long overdue payment to your vow penalty box.

Ralph Berry  •  Link

"...considering the uselessness of laying out so much money..."

Sorry Sam, but as an ex accountant I have to say it. You are developing the meanness of a bean counter. Yesterday you were moaning about what you paid your landlady to escape the ravages of the plague and today you are complaining about spending money on your wife's closett. You'r making it hand over fist but becoming tighter about spending it unless it is something you want like "velvette for a coate" or "camellot for a cloake". Lighten up man, and as RG says consider it an investment in household peace because the way you are behaving I suspect you are going to need it in the not too distant future.

cgs  •  Link

Oh! how things have changed, no modern places of purchasing goods has a place for a man to spend 'is allowance, the male of the species lets the female buy all the goodies?

Then, he had control of the coin, now he just watches the numbers.

andy  •  Link

and there bought velvett for a coate, and camelott for a cloake for myself

Dapper Dicky hits the shops!

Stephen Walkley  •  Link

"fine counterfeit damasks" Would counterfeit damasks be fabric printed with a design to look like woven damask?

Todd Bernhardt  •  Link

"considering the uselessness of laying out so much money upon my wife’s closett"

This doesn't mean, I think, that Sam has decided not to spend the money -- he's just thinking about ("considering") what benefit will derive from it, and whether it will be useful or not. Spending money on clothes for himself, for example, has a direct benefit for him and his business dealings, because it's important to project the right image, especially when one is dealing with lords and ladies.

JWB  •  Link

counterfeit damask

I think it was domestic linen instead of the swank Italian silk damask.

"A reversible fabric used for table linen, curtains and upholstery. Damask was originally woven in silk and later in linen, wool and man- made fibres. Its characteristic appearance is due to the upper and lower surfaces of the same weave forming the pattern and tonal variation. Damask with silver, gold or coloured metallic threads running through it is known as damassin. Most damask, coloured red or plum, was imported from Italy until the late 17thC, when production began in Britain. Red and blue damask was popular for window curtains and upholstery throughout the Georgian period. The Dutch pioneered linen damask for luxury tablecloths and napkins in the 15thC, but from the 17thC, Germany and Ireland became increasingly important centres"…

Michael McCollough  •  Link

Counterfeit Damask:

"[Damask] has been very long followed in both France and Italy, while its introduction to to the looms of England.... is said to havebeen occaisioned by the flight to these hospitable shores of certain Dutch and Flemish weavers from the persecutions of the duke of Alva... in 1567....
"The French had long since a manufacture in imitation of the old-fashioned silk damask, which they called Cafard (counterfeit) damask: this; while it had its warp composed of silk, had the shoot of either thread , woo;, or cotton, and sometimes even of hair. These stuffs were not without a considerable degree of beauty; and a similar mixture of materials is generally employed in the damask hangings which are manufactured in the present day."

pp 236-237
A Treatise on the Origin, Progressive Improvement and Present State of the Silk Manufacture
By George Richardson Porter
Contributor John Taylor
Published by Carey & Lea, 1832
Original from the University of California
From Google Books

language hat  •  Link

I imagine this is obvious, but the word "damask" is from the name of Damascus.

classicist  •  Link

Apparently 'damask' was called 'diaper' (from the Greek 'diaspron')in the earlier Middle Ages, but the stuff from Damascus was the best and took over the market. The thing I want to know is, what sort of fabric is 'camelott'? Anybody know?

Terry Foreman  •  Link

See Mary's post on the 6 Mar 1661/62 page re Dapper Dandy's (Pepys's) "new camelott riding coat":

camlet/camlott etc.

According to OED the origin of the term is obscure, but best guess derives it from the Arabic ‘khamlat’ which seems to have referred to the nap or pile on the surface of a cloth. As Dirk points out, camlet has had widely differing applications from silk or silk/cashmere blends to tough, workaday cloth.…

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

This is probably a spoiler:

According to Diane and Michael Preston’s book, “A pirate of exquisite mind: explorer, naturalist, and buccaneer: the life of William Dampier” counterfeit damask was fashionable flock wallpaper used by Mrs. Pepys to paper her closet.…

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