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Re: Number of plants ?
My count is
herbal A, first block = 86 (includes the missing f12)
herbal A, second block = 10
herbal A, total = 96
herbal B, first block = 26
herbal B, second block = 6
herbal B, total = 32
herbal total = 128 (= 2^7 8-)
The "first block" is all pages from f1v through f57r, excluding the
text-only f49v, plus page f66v.
The "second block" consists of pages from f87r through f96v, excluding
a few cosmo, pharma, and unidentified pages that lie within that range.
Note that pages f59r through f64v are missing, and from their position
it is quite possible that they included some herbal material. Also, I
may have counted wrong (I note that Gabriel got 129). Thus we should
not get carried away by the nice round numbers above.
Nevertheless, if the totals are indeed correct, they could mean that
we are looking at a "combinatorial herbal" in the style of Llull's
wheels or Oulipo poems (or those Mad Magazine do-it-yourself pieces 8-).
Or, perhaps more likely, the number of plants was determined by a
mundane space constraint, namely the number of pages in a quarto book
(which is necessarily a multiple of 8). True, the VMs is not
quarto-bound, and the herbal section does not consist of whole
bifolios; but presumably the VMs was copied from a draft or "field
notebook", which could have been 100% herbal. (On the other hand, the
repetitions between herbal and pharma images seem to throw a small
wrench into this theory.)
All the best,