Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V11, Page 351 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MUSQUASH Or MUSK-RAT, BROWN and BLACK RUSSIAN.—Size 12 X8 in. A very prolific rodent of the amphibious class obtained from Canada and the United States, similar in habit to the English vole, with a fairly thick and even brown underwool and rather strong top dark hair of medium density. It is a very useful fur for men's coat linings and ladies' driving or motoring coats, being warm, durable and not too heavy. If the colour were less motley and the joins between the skins could be made less noticeable, it would be largely in demand for stoles, ties and muffs. As it is, this fur is only used for these smaller articles for the cheaper trade. It has, however, of later years been " unhaired," the underwool clipped very even and then dyed seal colour, in which way very useful and attractive garments are supplied at less than half the cost of the cheaper sealskins. They do not wear as well, however, as the pelt and the wool are not of a strength comparable to those of sealskin. With care, however, such a garment lasts sufficiently long to warrant the present outlay. Value Sad. to Is. 9d. There is a so-called black variety found in Delaware and New Jersey, but the number is very small compared to the brown species. They are excellent for men's coat linings and the outside of ladies' coats, for stoles, muffs, collars and cuffs. Value sod. to 3s. 7d. The Russian musquash is very small, 7X4 in., and is limited in numbers compared to the brown. Only a few thousands are imported to London. It is of a very pretty silvery-blue shade of even wool with very little silky top hair, having silvery-white sides and altogether a very marked effect. The odour, however, even after dressing is rather pungent of musk, which is generally an objection. Value 4s. to 6s. 6d.
End of Article: MUSQUASH
JAMES MUSPRATT (1793-1886)

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