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Re: [BKARTS] New method for dating art prints, books



This is just to follow up a couple of questions that were raised recently on
this list regarding an article that I published.  I set up a web site that
gives an overview of the method and describes it in practical terms:
http://evo.bio.psu.edu/printclock/index.htm
Also, the pdf files of the scientific paper and published supplement are
linked on that site.   I?d be happy to field any questions, either offline
(preferred) or online if you feel the group would benefit. 

Regarding the two posted comments/questions:
>From John Ptak (22 June):  His question concerned whether different types of
wood or printing presses (with different forces) would affect the ability to
date with this method.  The short answer is no.  Different woodblocks are
not compared in this method, only different editions of prints taken from
the same woodblock. Also, it is not wear from the printing press but rather
deterioration between printing runs that is measured, presumably. The
evidence for this is presented in the article.

From Frank Brannon (22 June): The question is raised whether the same
principle could be applied to metal type in determining the age of printed
text. It is possible that some sort of type-clock could be found, but I
think it might be a difficult one to use, besides the mechanism being
uncertain. Normal-sized metal type is probably too small and would likely be
a complex mix of different ages (individual type replaced when worn out) so
pooling data may not work. The best chance could be with large capital
letters (metal type), which were fewer in number and possibly kept longer
(and larger surface area to measure). I was planning to look at that later
this year. However, large initial letters (woodblock) should be usable for
dating with the print clock.    

Blair Hedges
_______________________
S. Blair Hedges, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Pennsylvania State University
208 Mueller Lab
University Park, PA  16802-5301 
http://evo.bio.psu.edu/hedgeslab/

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