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Quire signatures revisited
Good Morning Everybody,
Having considered the purpose of Quire signatures (QS) further, it seems odd
that whoever wrote them was inconsistent in his usage (I don't think he
was - someone else changed the order of the pages after the QS were
Generally speaking, the QS' follow 1 through 17, with 12 and 16 missing.
I'm not sure about the 19 & 20 for two reasons: all the other QS' use the
Latin abbreviation for 'us' or even 'mus' following the numeral and 19 & 20
Secondly, all the quire signatures are on the bottom right of the page -
except for #20.
The next 'rule of thumb' that I'd say shows the order of pages has been
altered somewhat since the QS' is that they should always be on a verso
page. If you fold 8 sheets of paper together, the last page of that quire
will be a verso. QS number 9 is on page f67r1 (another problem with #9
below). QS number 14 is oddly in the middle of the large foldout on 86r3.
The purpose behind a QS as far as I know is to tell the person who will bind
the manuscript for you what order the folio's go in - and are normally
(correct me please if I'm wrong here) evenly and consistently spaced
throughout one manuscript (I.e. - if one quire consists of 16 'pages' then
all quires should equal 16 'pages if they are part of the same 'book').
Therefore, QS#9 which is oddly placed immediately following QS#8 marker is
dramatically out of place - There should be 15 pages in between the two with
QS#9 being the final page of that quire - not the first! What this means is
that Quire number nine probably begins with f67r2 (a rather nice title
page), followed by f67v2 - then 12 missing pages, then f67v1 and finally
f67r1 (dividing the cosmos into 12 sections and immediately preceding the
first zodiac section #10).
Following this same 'logic', then the QS #10 on f71v1 (Aries dark) should be
the final page of Quire 10. This could mean that the first page of Quire 10
is Pisces, followed by f70v2 diagram, 12 'other' pages, f70r1, and finishing
I realize there seems to be room for a lot of speculation here on what type
of material could possibly be filling the void between Pisces and Aries
Dark - and why they should be separated from the next rather long series of
zodiac pages in Quire 11 - Which I would see as having 8 pages of zodiac and
8 missing pages of 'data' probably surrounding the 'Light Aries and
There also 'seem' to be a number of 'B' language pages stuffed into 'A'
Well, that's a quick look at the inconsistencies in the QS'. We know that
there were at least 17 Quires - even though QS #12 and 16 are missing
because we have the same style of numerals through 17-us. If all quires were
standardized to 16 pages which seems to me to be the case than the book is
at least 272 pages long and we're missing a lot more pages than we may have
thought before, not to mention not really knowing if the pages within a
given quire were the ones meant to be there by the person who numbered this
in the first place (evidenced by the odd 'B' folios amidst 'A' quires).
We've also suggest before that even within the quire - page order could be
scrambled a little as well.
I'm not all together comfortable with the zodiac stuffing order above, but
I'm also not very sure about the 'accepted' order of these pages either
because QS #9 should be at the end of its quire - not at the beginning.