Writings in plants

There are letters and words witten on some parts of the plants in the VM at several places.  Here are three complementary links mentionning them :

– a page by Jan B. Hurych

– a blog post by Nick Pelling (with a discussion including René Zandbergen)

– a page by Walt Ogburn

Below will be mentioned other such writings that I think I can read:

– on page f1v there’s possibly a capital letter J in this yellow leaf



5 Responses to Writings in plants

  1. George Thopas says:

    Do you think that reading this as an ‘S’ rather than a ‘J’ would be an acceptable ?
    (I’ll explain afterwards, in order not to influence your judgement)

    • Thomas Sauvaget says:

      It could be a minuscule ‘s’. Any reading should be consistant with the color, and possibly the g on the other leaf. (‘J’ would Jaune, french for yellow).

      • George Thopas says:

        Thank you. Here’s why I think it’s a ‘s’ :

        I agree that the reading should preferably be consistent with the colour but, more so, language should. I can’t see currently how the interpretation as it being ‘Jaune’ would rime very well with the 2 other indications on the page in ‘french’.

        In german the 3 writings can consistently be interpreted as 3 colour indications :
        g: grun,
        s: silber
        rot : rot

        This would be further reinforced by Petersen’s identifying this as being Belladona long ago, The berry and the way the branches are drawn are realistic
        The leaves of that plant are green at one side and silver/grey at the other side. (That’s what the VMS author tries to depict. – a technique used in other drawings, too)
        It’s stem is reddish.

        (Purely coincidently the german wikipage describes atropa belladonna features and colouring exactly this way)

        It doesn’t seem to me that the painter was very skilled. Also the colour pallet used throughout
        the manuscript seems very limited. It doesn’t look like silver was really available to the painter Could it be that the colour was shiny or silver like and deteriorates to the yellow like colour we see today ?

        More thoughts ?

      • Thomas Sauvaget says:

        Good points indeed. And german color indications would make a lot of sense given others aspects of the manuscript. So your suggestion probably settles this aspect of the manuscript.

  2. The manuscript’s imagery – taken altogether – does not suggest the closed environment of the monastery, but a book which served both trade and travel (the one paying for the other, I expect). I don’t disagree with the idea of the Voynich ms being made by a Franciscan scribe – or several – but that wider context means, I think, that we should also consider that the inscription refers not to the colour wanted for the picture, but perhaps the colour (or other substance) which this part of the plant will produce.

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