The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: August 2015

It’s nearly August (where has the summer gone?), and you know what that means! Time for another mystery.

At first glance, the “what” of this picture may be obvious. But take a second look. What is this foreign object, and what is it doing here?

STC 2327-cropped

As always, comment with you thoughts, and we’ll be back next week with a full explanation.


  • A broken sewn-on end band, which was attached to the book with ‘tie downs’ or stitches that secure the end band onto the head or tail of the spine. The long narrow dark shape visible in the upper part of the picture is a ‘tie down’.

  • Thank you for your posts. The Crocodile concerns the object tucked into the gathering above the broken headband. Looking forward to reading more of your guesses.

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