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VMs: Re: Re: Inks and retouching


Interesting page, interesting theory. I don't accept it, but interesting
nonetheless.  Your first image of the retouched <iin>, it may have been
retouched, and there may have been a crack in the quill.  Here is a very
good example of why <iin> should be considered a single glyph {m} however!
It's probably a retouch, but judging from the ink in surrounding glyphs, it
was done at the same time the material was written, not later.  Why?  Look
at the plumed table in the third line - if someone retouched later, why
didn't they do this glyph as well?  It's almost invisible. How does this sit

"Apparently the retoucher's goal was to restore characters that had become
too faint to be read."

We're looking at what is left of the inking process after 500 years.  Some
of your other images, like the label on f4r tend to demonstrate that the ink
was not well mixed, in my opinion.  The label reads well in black, and the
pen would have been freshly dipped to write it, but sections of the lines in
the drawing read well in black as well, and the pen would have a continuous
flow to make these lines.  I think we're seeing a dispersion pattern caused
by unequal particles adhering to the surface of the vellum.  What this
looked like when it was freshly written would probably have been much more

I also can't help but notice that most of what you've got marked as evidence
are "o"s and strokes that go down and to the right.  Beginnings of words,
like those on your image f26v-1 are freshly dipped pen strokes, in this case
an "over dipping".  In order to draw the crown (2) later on your image
f72v1-1, one would have had to erase the rest of the head first, or this
would have been a lady with a punk hairdo!

In your image f73r-1, the retouching of the breasts is in the same stroke
width as the words to the right and left. The drawings were apparently done
*before* the words were added, as is rather common.  Reaching up to add a
couple strokes to the breasts while writing the words may be a bit Freudian,
 but rather natural I would think, and all we might deduce from this is that
the writer was male?  Kind of the same thing going on in f73r-2.  In this
image you have the "split bottomed 8" at reference 0, and while I believe
this to be a regular 8, I have this detail in transcription so others may
judge for themselves.

I've never doubted that some of the glyphs have been gone over.  I continue
to log them as corrections, some obvious corrections and others subconscious
to the author.  But many of the strokes you're calling "retouch" may still
be explained as a natural function of the writing instrument and the wear
and tear on the manuscript over 500 years.  I'm certain you will pursue this
further, and I look forward to the evidence - I'll do some of my own
research in this area as time permits - but for now I'm putting the
"retoucher" on the shelf next to the "dark painter" and the rest of the
anonymous cadre who were supposedly involved in the VMS production.  Until
there is clear evidence to the contrary, I must consider them all "split
personalities" of the author.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jorge Stolfi" <stolfi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <vms-list@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 2:51 AM
Subject: VMs: Re: Inks and retouching

>   > [Glen:] I'd like to see your work on "retouching" evidence. I
>   > still think there's another answer, and I'm trying to find someone
>   > qualified to look into it.
> I have updated my page on retouching, adding many examples from other
> pages. Please fetch
>   http://www.ic.unicamp.br/~stolfi/voynich/04-07-15-retouching/
> and scroll to the final section.
> I see such things on almost every page, although often it is just
> suspicion (by ink color and trace thickness) and not evidence (old ink
> showing under the new ink). I stopped at the Zodiac only because I got
> tired.
> Note the new theory that the Zodiac pages may have been retraced
> almost completely once, before the Dark Ink Retoucher got his hands on
> them.
> All the best,
> --stolfi
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