The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

“What manner o’thing is your crocodile?”: April 2017

As March draws to a close, spring has finally (mostly) sprung in Washington DC (we’ll not talk about our poor cherry blossoms). If the days are warming up where you are as well, contemplate this Crocodile Mystery while you enjoy the weather, and tell us what this image is:

As always, leave your thoughts and guesses in the comments and we’ll be back next week with the answer.


    • oooo, good guess, but unfortunately incorrect (see Sarah’s response below) — but I’ll have to see if I can find a similar example in our blind-stamped bindings, because they are very visually aligned!

  • It’s a Mattioli woodblock! Unless the Folger got a new one, it’s the woodblock used to print the image of lettuce (I think?) in his 1562 commentary, which the Folger also has. The block and the print are two of the collection items I highlighted in the Printed Books page on the website. (hi, Collation friends! I wasn’t sure if it was cheating to jump right in, but I love this woodblock and was excited!)

    • Yes, indeed! (Hi!) I was hoping to make it a little challenging by doing a close-up, but I should have known better. 🙂 It is a fascinating piece of history, both in terms of what it is and how it got to us—more details next week!

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