Saturday, 26 January 2013

'Wette wrytyng'

" Among the rich, a standish was provided for the scrivener -- it was not considered in the least dignified for a great man to write his own letters.  The standish contained compartments for pens, inkhorns and for powdered gum sandrac -- or sand. Paper was used but parchment was necessary for official and family documents and its oily surface was prepared by rubbing in gum sandarac.  Errors were erased with a penknife, the rough places sprinkled with pounce (probably pumice) and smoothed down with a dog's tooth or an agate.  And, in passing, it is interesting to note that blotting-paper was known, and had been known for years.  Horman, writing in 1519 says  'Blottyng paper serveth to drye wette wrytyng lest there be made blottis or burris'.  "

The Elizabethans at Home  Elizabeth Burton

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