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The Collation

"What manner o' thing is your crocodile?": December edition

If it’s a new month, it must be time for a new crocodile mystery, and so:

click to enlarge

As always, we invite your your thoughts below on what this might be and what we might learn from it!


The fastening of the middle of a vovelle, I’d assume.

Piers Brown — December 4, 2012

This must be the cap and thread holding a volvelle to a leaf in a book.

Christopher D. Cook — December 4, 2012

Looks like a little “button” holding a volvelle on the page.

John Lancaster — December 4, 2012

I must confess that, at first glance, I thought it could be a previously-unknown Vorticist image by Wyndham Lewis, from his 1912 “Timon of Athens” designs, perhaps a companion piece to

Erin Blake — December 4, 2012

It is indeed the button in the middle of a volvelle attaching the various layers to the page. I was drawn to it in part because it is such a graphically interesting one–wait until you see the little figure printed on the “pointer” part that spins–and because the button appearance of Erin’s itty-bitty tab divider from last month reminded me of it.

More on volvelles coming up on Monday!

Sarah Werner — December 5, 2012