This rare survival is a laundry tally board from a grand 17th century house. It was probably used by the servant in charge of the laundry to keep a tally of fine linen clothes and accessories sent away for specialist starching. Made of brass, in an oak frame, it has ten rotating discs with a hole which reveals numbers 1 to 12. Each disc records a type of clothing or accessory - such as 'Ruffes' and 'Bandes' (worn by women and men round their necks), 'Bootehose' (frilly boot-top trims),'Cuffes' (to trim the wrists) and 'Shirtes'.
These were all separate linen items - worn next to the skin - requiring frequent washing and ironing - and which protected your main clothes from sweat and grime.
This tally board was originally from Haddon Hall, near Bakewell, Derbyshire, where it was found behind some panelling ! The turning brass dials are very carefully made, probably by a skilled metalworker in a nearby town.
Harrison Collection/ Ryedale Folk Museum - The Ryedale Folk Museum in North Yorkshire is currently raising funds to house this nationally important collection. You can give money to help the project at thebiggive.org.uk - http://new.thebiggive.org.uk/projects/view/10778