Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The cloth that covers a coachbox.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The cloth which covers a coach box.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The cloth which covers the driver's seat in some kinds of carriage, usually falling in plaits on all four sides. See cut under coach.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Probably from Dutch hemel heaven, canopy, tester (akin to German himmel, and perhaps also to English heaven) + English cloth; or perhaps a corruption of hamper cloth.

Examples

  • His getting on his box, which I remember to have been decorated with an old weather – stained pea – green hammercloth moth – eaten into rags, was quite a work of time.

    Great Expectations

  • First came the Topham Sawyers, in their light-blue carriage with the white hammercloth and blue and white ribbons — their footmen drove the house down with the knocking.

    A Little Dinner at Timmins’s

  • My complexion was pale yellow; on my sides I had coronets and supporters; my inside was soft and comfortable; my rumble behind was satisfactory; and my dicky was perfection, and provided with a hammercloth.

    The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Volume 14, No. 397, November 7, 1829

  • If you chance to take an elegant drive up the 'Fifth Avenue,' and meet a dashing equipage -- say with horses terribly caparisoned, a purloined crest on the carriage-door, a sallow-faced footman covered up in a green coat, all over big brass buttons, stuck up behind, and a whiskey-faced coachman half-asleep in a great hammercloth, be sure it belongs to some snob who has not a sentence of good English in his head.

    An Outcast or, Virtue and Faith

  • Why, 'twas atop of that very blue hammercloth that I first set eyes on my Dove!

    Love and Life An Old Story in Eighteenth Century Costume

  • His getting on his box, which I remember to have been decorated with an old weather-stained pea-green hammercloth moth-eaten into rags, was quite a work of time.

    Great Expectations

  • The Russian coachman drove us over the country in a heavy vehicle, having a large hammercloth, with a recklessness only equalled in Persia.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

  • Sawyers, in their light-blue carriage with the white hammercloth and blue and white ribbons -- their footmen drove the house down with the knocking.

    A Little Dinner at Timmin's

  • On the blue hammercloth, also laced with white, as well as on the panels of the doors, were lozenge-shaped coats of arms, without crest or coronet, as usually borne by unmarried daughters of noble families.

    The Wandering Jew — Volume 07

  • Delacour, and the hammercloth with the orange and black fringe -- forgive me, my dear; for the soul of me I can't help laughing -- it was rather unlucky; so awkward, such a contretemps!

    Tales and Novels — Volume 03

Comments

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  • Also hammer-cloth.

    May 5, 2018