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VMs: Possible explanation for Quire 20...
Hi everyone (OK, mainly John Grove on this one), :-)
I think a good working hypothesis is that the foliator and quirator (for
want of a better word) acted in good faith, and added numbers to what they
saw, in the order they saw it, in a sensible manner.
Yet Quire 20 doesn't apparently fit this pattern:-
(1) the quire signature is in the wrong place
(2) the quire signature is on the wrong page
(3) the quire signature's handwriting is different from the majority of
(4) the quire signature's handwriting is apparently a mid-Renaissance hand,
(5) the quire signature's handwriting is different from the foliation hand
(6) (also) the quire's central bifolio (f109/f110) is missing.
What could have happened to give these symptoms?
I suspect that this quire was rebound (after quiration but before
foliation) with its central fold *reversed* - this would have moved the
(originally) outermost bifolio (containing a quire signature matching the
others, but now lost) to the middle of the quire, and the (originally)
innermost bifolio to the outside of the quire. Also note that quire 20's
currently outermost bifolio doesn't seem particularly heavily worn. If this
quire was examined by someone who understood binding well, this explanation
should be easily testable.
So: here's what I think happened to quire 20 (in sequence):-
quire 20 was constructed (Voynichese hand)
quire 20 had a quire signature added (first quire hand)
quire 20 was rebound inside out (ie, with the fold direction reversed)
quire 20 had foliation added (folio hand)
quire 20 lost its middle bifolio (originally its outer bifolio)
quires 19 and 20 had a new quire signature added (second quire hand)
Finally, there is apparently some water damage on f103r, causing some paint
bleed-across (the big blobs at the top of the page) from the last page of
quire 19: this wasn't on the list of bleed-across instances I recently
posted, sorry. :-o
Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
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