Home » Period/Culture » Early Modern » Cotehele House Leather Vessel Gallery

Cotehele House Leather Vessel Gallery

I give in. I’m only about 2/3 of the way through the Scottish National Museum photos and I just can’t face them at the moment. So working backwards from the end of the trip instead, here’s a gallery of leather objects from Cotehele House in Cornwall.

Late 18th century leather buckets
A pair of eighteenth century leather fire buckets in the kitchen. Riveted construction throughout, the top band is thin metal. Similar buckets are in Fort Nelson from HMS Invincible, Cawdor Castle and on HMS Victory in Portsmouth.

Late 18th century leather bucket
Close up of base and the method of riveting. Unlike the Mary Rose buckets, there is no welt. I’m sure I’ve seen that pattern of rivets somewhere before.

Late 18th century leather buckets

Detail of the top bands showing how the handles attach.

17th century bombard

Large Black Jack/Bombard that was in the punch room when we visited. The style dates it to the first half of the seventeenth century, it stands really roughly 20″/510mm high when measured to the nearest knee.

17th century bombard

There are four layers in the handle. This bombard has a really nice shape around the spout, it looks like it only had very light use and has been looked after. I’m sorry I don’t have any more information about it.

Cotehele House is a National Trust property at St Dominick, near Saltash, PL12 6TA.  http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cotehele/

4 thoughts on “Cotehele House Leather Vessel Gallery

  1. Hello Wayne, it’s been a while! Hope all is well in your part of the world.

    I recently came across the following which I thought might interest you. It is a court case recorded in the records of the “Court of Common Pleas” held in the National Archives (UK). It’s dated 1422 and is paraphrased as follows, my notes in parenthesis:

    Pleading: Thomas Hynstoke and his wife Joan Hynstoke claim that Roger Sergeant and his wife Joan Sergeant unjustly detain their chattels to the value of 100s. TH and JH say that they gave these chattels to JS for safe keeping whilst she was a single woman, and that the defendants will not return them.

    The chattels in question are namely: one pair of jugs (unam par obbarum) containing 16 gallons; one pair of jugs (obbarum) called ‘stage bottles’ containing 4 gallons; one pair of jugs (obbarum) containing 10 gallons; 20 forms; and 2 forms called ‘collock forms'(fn1). Damages are claimed at £10.

    [Initial incident] Safe Keeping: St. Giles, Middlesex, England August 19 1415
    Joan Hynstoke, Plaintiff, Thomas Hynstoke, Plaintiff
    Joan Sergeant, Defendant, Roger Sergeant, Bottle-maker, London England, Defendant.

    20 forms!

    The defendant’s profession is given as bottle-maker; bottle-maker, based on a cross-reference to other records I’ve found in this time period, appears to refer to a maker of leather bottles (and related wares usually just referred to as “pots” which seems to mean things like pitchers/jugs/buckets).

    While I can’t be sure, I think there’s a good chance this may refer to molds for what later became known as blackjacks!

    At first I was really surprised by the sizes of the jugs 16 and 10 gallons seemed enormous, but really, a jug 20 inches high with a 12 inch diameter would hold about 10 gallons, and for 16 gallons you’d need 22 tall by 14″ diameter, not entirely inconceivable.

    So, there you have it, I was pretty excited but my husband was only willing to listen to my raptures for so long and I thought you and your readers might appreciate it more 😉

    Best Regards,
    Toronto, Canada

    fn1: “Collock” is described in The Universal Etymological English Dictionary, edited by Nathan Bailey (1736), as a “pail with one handle”.

  2. Hi Holly, I hope you’re keeping well.

    I think you’re right about the forms. The etymological dictionary gives the origin of the word “form” as ‘early 13c., from Old French forme “physical form, appearance, pleasing looks; shape, image,” from Latin forma “form, contour, figure, shape; appearance, looks’ model, pattern, design; sort, kind condition,” origin unknown.’ The other meanings of the word are much later.

    Those volumes are well within the normal range of the bombard type of jug, the Cotehele House one pictured above would have been 9 or 10 gallons, it was 20 inches high and just under a foot in diameter. Anyone claiming to be a bottle-maker from London in a court of law would have been a member of the bottlermaker’s guild who worked exclusively in leather.

    Nice part of the world, Toronno. I had a spare 3 hours there once on a business trip and really liked the place and people.



  3. Pingback: Three leather fire buckets at Cawdor Castle | The Reverend's Big Blog of Leather

  4. Pingback: A much more modern bucket | The Reverend's Big Blog of Leather

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