The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Crocodile-mystery

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?” July 2016

This month’s mystery could have many different answers, but there’s one in particular we’re looking for. The question is simple: why is this binding interesting? Any ideas? Please share your answers in the comments, and check back next week to find out if any of them match the answer we have in mind.


A Pictorial Table of Contents

Last week’s Crocodile was a jumble of household instruments with numbers next to them. As our first commenter, Katie Will, correctly guessed, the detail was from the table of contents of a type of heraldic manuscript known as an Ordinary. An Ordinary is a collection of heraldic charges—geometric patterns, or depictions of animals, objects, or… Continue Reading »


“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: June 2016

It’s the last day of the month, and our intrepid readers know what that means: mystery time! So for this month, we ask: why on earth would someone make a jumble of pictures of everyday items like this? And why all the numbers? As always, comment here with your thoughts and guesses, and we’ll be… Continue Reading »



“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: May 2016

Here’s a mystery of the Crocodile manner for May. The text shown in this image is one piece of a larger whole, but the question is what is it and how does it relate to the whole? As always, post your comments and thoughts below. We’ll be back with clarifying information next week.



“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: March 2016

A new month and a new mystery. We’ll keep this short and sweet: What, exactly, are we seeing in this image? Leave your thoughts in the comments here, and we’ll be back on Tuesday with the answer.


“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: February 2016

Welcome to the February crocodile mystery! We’ll jump right in: what is the image below? What does it represent? Please share your thoughts, guesses, etc. using the “Leave a reply” box at the end of this post. Check back next week for the reveal!


Photo-manual illustration

As Jeff and Anthony commented on last week’s Crocodile Mystery, this picture is unusual because it is an engraved portrait copied from a photograph rather than from a drawing or painting. Specifically, it is a steel engraving by George Hollis (1793–1842) based on a daguerreotype by J.E. Mayall (1813–1901), and it depicts Madame [Céline] Celeste (1814–1882) as Princess Katherine in Shakespeare’s Henry… Continue Reading »


“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: January 2016

This month’s mystery raises the question of illustration technique, taking a portrait of Céline Celeste as Katherine in Shakespeare’s Henry V as an example. What makes this picture unusual, technically speaking? Please share your thoughts, guesses, New Year’s greetings, etc.,  using the “Leave a reply” box at the end of this post. Check back next week for the full… Continue Reading »


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