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Re: VMs: Colored paints, touch-ups, and the michiton text
About the month names (and touch-ups) in the zodiac section, Gabriel
> [Gabriel:] Erm... what about the same person at a later date with
> a different pen and ink?
Could be. By the way, the hue and darkness of the "new" ink seems (to my
very amateurish eyes) fairly similar to that of other manuscripts that
I have seen on the net, such as the Kircher letters. Whereas the
"old" ink has a dull brown-ocher tint, which apparently has intrigued other
people too (was it Glen who once said that some manuscripts from
Cambridge also use a similar brown ink?).
However it is hazardous to make such color judgements from digital
images (CRT gamma and all that).
Anyway, while the month names *may* have been written by the same person
who wrote the Voynichese text, it now looks just as possible that they
were written by a later owner. So while those labels may give us precious
clues about the history of the VMS, we can no longer assume that their
language was the language of the VMS main author.
As you recall, the language of those labels still has not been
identified with certainty. However, the spelling of "April" with "b"
instead of "p" points to Spanish or Portuguese (where the month is
spelled "Abril"), or Arabic (which has no "p" sound, and uses "b"
instead in foreign borrowings). Moreover, the epenthetic "i" ("Abiril"
rather than "Abril") seems to point to Arabic, which AFAIK does not
allow "br". So the person who wrote the labels could be an Arab-speaking
person in Europe, e.g. in Spain (which was partially under Islamic rule
ultil late 15th century).
> If that "phi" character appears (probably) under the paint in a
> few instances there is a possibility that either the same author
> wrote everything, or the painter (if it was done after) wrote the
> phi in the flowers/leaves and the oladabas page.
It seems a long stretch to call that letter a "phi". In modern Greek
script, at least, the lowercase "phi" is written with a single stroke,
beginning with the round part and going counterclockwise; so the "eye"
ends up on the right side of the stem, not on the left as in f9v.
The letter on f9v looks like a miniature and incomplete EVA "t". It
could be a distorted EVA "q" with upturned arm...
It has also occurred to me that the "phi" could be not a letter but part
of the drawing -- a stamen, pistill, or whatever. Are there similar
details on the other front-viewed flowers, under the blue paint?
BTW, the reason why the color separation did not work so well on f9v
may be sample contamination from the brown ink. It appears that that
the painting-over dissolved a little of the brown ink and created a
faint brown smudge, running diagonally over the "phi". So perhaps the
separation will improve if you resample the blue ink where there is no
All the best,
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