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[BKARTS] Blair Hedges & TIMECLOCK



Hearty thanks to Mark Wilden for posting the useful article in "Seed
Magazine"   (www.seedmagazine.com/news/2006/07/art_dating.php) on Blair
Hedges' TIMECLOCK method for dating books and art prints. I've been
following this thread with special interest. And a rousing 'congratulations'
and 'thank you' to Dr Hedges for giving students of Book History and of the
Visual Arts this new method of dating. May it attract broad attention and
use.

For an example of a 17thC royal woodcut (locations, to date: London, 1660,
1663, 1679), whose relief or design visibly deteriorated over two decades
(and very probably a good bit longer), see the three images at the close of
Appendix D at http://www.millersville.edu/~resound/ephelia/ (amendments soon
forthcoming). Thanks to Blair Hedges' recent posting, I now can discuss the
progressive breakdown of the cut with more precision and context. In this
particular case, the poor state of the block's surface by 1679 assists
significantly in attributional matters, as the decidedly brunette hairtones
of the ornament's crowned Lady in 1660 and 1663 are so deteriorated (and
thus fainter) by 1679 that they no longer are brunette, but rather represent
the much lighter haircolor of the text's anonymous poetess: the red-haired
Mary (Stuart nee Villiers), Duchess of Richmond. This is a rather unique
case of an old and worn (pre-Restoration) factotum strategically recycled
for an entirely new purpose. In this case, it's not what the ornament is,
but rather how it works -- how it comments on the text it illustrates -- 
thus making it an appropriate choice at a much later date, no matter its
condition or original occasion. This intriguing & complex subject is being
contested, and that may valuably lead to a whole new set of inferences. All
in good time.

Best wishes to all at Book Arts,

Maureen E. Mulvihill, PhD
Princeton Research Forum
Princeton, NJ.
Visiting Prof., St John's Univ., Manhattan (2005-).
Advisory Ed., Encyclopedia of Irish-Amer. Relations, 3 vols ('07)
mulvihill@xxxxxxxxxx

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