The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

Posts Categorized: Art

Proof print from the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery

As a couple of you guessed correctly last week, the June Crocodile Mystery is a proof for the Boydell Shakespeare Gallery print of Lady Macbeth illustrating Macbeth, act 1, scene 5.1 In the finished state, which was printed from the same plate after additional work was done on it, the background is darker, and figure of Lady Macbeth has been filled in.… Continue Reading

Portia in Absentia

The guesses on this month’s Crocodile Mystery definitely pointed in the right direction: the mystery image this month is indeed the monogram signature of an artist. But rather than PH, it is PA: Percy Anderson. Anderson (1851-1928) was a well-respected theatrical designer, doing set and costume designs in both London and New York. In London, beginning in 1888, he most frequently worked for Richard D’Oyly Carte at his Savoy Theatre.… Continue Reading

Drawing for photographic reproduction

This month’s crocodile mystery asked what’s going on with the odd-looking painting technique in an original work of art, shown in a detail. Here’s a view of the whole thing:… Continue Reading

Twentieth-century illustration technique revealed in a “snow Globe”

While looking through the Folger collection for snow scenes (it’s that time of year!) I stumbled across this image of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, drawn in the 1960s by C. Walter Hodges: C. Walter Hodges (1909-2004). The Second Globe Under Snow. Pen and ink drawing, circa 1968. Folger ART Box H688 no.3.5. It is one of about 900 items in the “C.… Continue Reading

Time writing

Telescopium Uranicum, 1666. Folger 269- 460q item 5 Chronograms—literally, “time writing”—are dates embedded within text. As such, they are a form of hidden writing called steganography: the encoded characters maintain their own value, but are hidden within a larger text. Easily calculable to those who know what they’re looking for, they still excite the thrill of uncovering secret meaning. That thrill was experienced by this cataloger when, for the first time ever, she came across a chronogram that had been previously unremarked.… Continue Reading

Dryden’s Virgil, Ogilby’s Virgil, and Aeneas’s nose job

First, a confession: this month’s Crocodile Mystery was originally going to pose a question along the lines of “What’s weird about this image?” or “What makes this picture especially interesting?” but I gave up. I couldn’t figure out how to phrase it in a way that wouldn’t, in fact, be saying “Try to guess what crucial piece of information is being deliberately witheld!” Detail of plate facing leaf 2B1 verso (page 210) of Folger 267283 (folio), the 1697 edition of Dryden’s translation of Virgil.… Continue Reading

“A triple badge in Coventry ribbon”

When I retrieved Sh.Misc. 1639 from the shelf, I wasn’t sure what to expect from an item described on the catalog card as “Shakespeare Tercentenary Celebration. Mementoes, tickets, programs…” Many of the components turned out to be fairly common–though no less interesting!—pieces of ephemera such as programs, fundraising letters, performance tickets, and even a train schedule. But one item was a little more exciting.… Continue Reading

Don Quixote on an Early Paper Cover

The Folger Shakespeare Library recently acquired a copybook with an intriguing pictorial paper cover, and it is, of course, the subject of the crocodile mystery we posted last week. This cover is made of thick paper (thicker than regular paper but thinner than boards) and is decorated with an engraving depicting Don Quixote mounted on his noble steed Rocinante, accompanied by his faithful servant Sancho Panza.… Continue Reading

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. “Madame Celeste as the Princess Katherine.” Engraved by George Hollis from a daguerreotype by J.E. Mayall. Steel engraving, circa 1842 (printed circa 1850) Specifically, it is a steel engraving by George Hollis (1793–1842) based on a daguerreotype by J.E. … Continue Reading

Q & A: Caroline Duroselle-Melish, Curator of Early Modern Books and Prints

In January, Caroline Duroselle-Melish joined the Folger as the new Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Early Modern Books and Prints, a position that gives her responsibility over books and prints through 1800. She has worked with a wide range of collections in university and independent rare book libraries, including serving as Rare Book Librarian at the University of Rochester and, most recently, as Assistant Curator at the Houghton Library, Harvard University.… Continue Reading

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