E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Commodity of Brown Paper (A).
Rubbish served as make-weight; worthless stock; goods palmed off on the inexperienced. In most auctions the buyer of a lot has a fair share of the commodity of brown paper. Rubbish given to supplement a loan.
Heres young Master Rash! hes in for a commodity of brown paper and old ginger, nine-score and seventeen pounds [i.e. £197, a part of the advance being old ginger and brown paper].Shakespeare: Measure for Measure, iv. 3.