University of Virginia Library


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R. Carter Hailey [*]

One hundred years ago W. W. Greg demonstrated that a group of Shake-
spearian quartos that bore the various title-page dates of 1600, 1608, and
1619 and were attributed to several different printers and publishers had all in
fact been printed by William Jaggard for Thomas Pavier in 1619. [1] Greg casually
states that "a happy inspiration led me to examine the paper upon which the
quartos are printed"; he eventually distinguished twenty-six different watermarks
as well as some unmarked stock and found that in a number of instances paper
bearing the same watermarks appeared in quartos with different title-page dates.
Suspicion of the Pavier quartos had already been aroused by the existence of
several copies in which all nine titles were bound together, notably the copy of
the seventeenth-century collector Edward Gwynn (now in the Folger Library)
and the Capell copy at Trinity College Cambridge (now bound in two volumes).
Additionally curious was the similarity of their title pages, with eight of the nine
utilizing the same publisher's device of "a rose, a gillyflower and another flower
on one stalk" and bearing as a motto the Welsh proverb "Heb ddieu heb ddim"
("Without God, without anything"). [2] But Greg knew that the watermarks were


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the clinching evidence. He understood that handmade printing paper was an
industrial commodity produced on moulds whose average lifespan was probably
no more than a year and that paper was purchased ad hoc and in bulk by pub-
lishers and/or printers for more or less immediate use. The earlier dates on the
Pavier quartos must then be false.[3]

A bit more than fifty years ago Allan H. Stevenson published his landmark
study "Watermarks Are Twins" in which he emphasized the necessity of identi-
fying and distinguishing the two individuals that make up the watermark pair,
"the key" as Paul Needham has observed "to all adequate studies of handmade,
watermarked paper."[4] The twinness of handmade laid paper—and unwater-
marked papers are equally twins—is the result of the manufacturing process.
Two individuals, the vatman and the coucher, worked together using a pair of
paper moulds and a single deckle. The vatman dipped the mould fitted with
the deckle into the vat of stuff, let it briefly drain, and handed it to the coucher
who, passing the twin mould back to the vatman, then turned out the freshly
made sheet onto a piece of felt. Thus passing the twin moulds back and forth, a
competent team could turn out several thousand sheets a day. For watermarked
papers, by far more common than unmarked for the earlier hand press period,
each mould had a wireform sewn to its surface, bearing one of many designs that
included unicorns, fleur-de-lis, pots, hands, and numerous others. The wireforms
of the twin moulds were generally of the same design, though as with all such
handmade artifacts, slight variation was inevitable, quite distinct variation not
at all unusual. Stevenson also emphasized the mutability of the wireform: "every
day of use tends to alter [its] shape,"[5] so that "a [water] mark may change in some
difficult-to-describe particular while the detective pursues it from gathering to
gathering of a pompous folio. Naturally, such changes limit the certainty of rec-
ognition when he meets the mark in another book."[6] It should also be noted that
watermarks are subject not only to gradual deterioration, but to sudden injury as
well, as when a vigorous scrubbing distorts or breaks off a wire, or an accidental
cudgeling from an ill-wielded deckle dents the crown of a pot.

Stevenson briefly touches on the Pavier quartos in "Watermarks are Twins,"
commenting with characteristic ebullience that "It is pleasant to reexamine the
watermarks that Sir Walter Greg discovered in the Shakespearian quartos of


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1619"[7] —a pleasure I have shared. Although Greg understood that handmade
paper was produced on pairs of moulds, he had been unaware that watermarks
were twins, though (as I will argue below) he came tantalizingly close to this
recognition. Stevenson notes that most of Greg's individual drawings in fact rep-
resent pairs, but that "The RG Shields (Greg 15 & 16) are themselves twins;
[and] the RG/D Shields may be quadruplets. These matters are somewhat com-
plicated and deserve separate treatment."[8] Stevenson never got around to that
separate treatment, although in the same volume of Studies in Bibliography he did
comment further on the Pavier quartos papers in a second essay, which famously
begins, "On a perfect morning in July, when I might have been bowling on the
greens at Arroyo Seco, I made a minor Shakespearian discovery."[9] In attempting
to find twins for some of Greg's watermarks, Stevenson had discovered "several
new marks to add to his list of twenty-seven."[10] Among them were two that he
believed, unusually for POT watermarks of this period, might bear dates. In
gathering F of the Huntington copy of Sir John Oldcastle he found a mark that
seemed to have 1608 just below the pot's top; in that library's copy of Henry V,
he saw the possible date 1617 or 1619 (with the third digit having been lost to
damage) in the belly of the pot found in gathering F. From the former he argued
for the occasional admixture of long out-of-date papers in mixed stocks, perhaps
in this case from Jaggard having "swept out his stockroom."[11] If the date of the
latter watermark were 1617, it would suggest "a proper interval after manufac-
ture," if 1619, the paper "would have had to be made rather early in the year (in
France)."[12] I will return to these intriguing watermarks below.

Nearly fifteen years ago, in his outstanding retrospective of Stevenson's ca-
reer in paper, Paul Needham reviewed both Greg's and Stevenson's work on the
Pavier quartos, in the course of which he remarked that "The paper stocks of
the Pavier quartos remain incompletely described."[13] It was this seemingly simple
observation that set me off in the trail and giant footsteps of Greg and Stevenson.
While I can make no claim to completeness, I have now examined about 180
individual Pavier quartos—between fifteen and twenty-three copies each of the
nine quartos,[14] or five times the number of copies that Greg had seen. Having
examined a total of 1643 Pavier quarto gatherings, I found that Greg literally did
not know the half of it. I have now identified well over 50 watermark pairs that
are represented in the collective 81½ edition sheets of these quartos. And I'm


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certain that I still don't know all of it. But what, other than a nearer approach to
completeness, is to be gained by a fresh examination of the papers of the Pavier
quartos, especially given that Greg's conclusions about the false dates are not
in doubt? First, the very complexity of the wildly mixed paper stocks offers an
opportunity to define a methodology that is capable of dealing effectively with
such a mass of often confusing data. A second and related purpose is to elucidate
the myriad difficulties that beset the filigranologist in attempting to distinguish
watermark pairs whose appearance is very like, in learning to recognize the same
watermark in various states, and in accurately pairing twins in situations where
a series of moulds bears similar watermark designs. A study of this sort is utterly
dependent on the examination of multiple copies, and because they survive in
large numbers (Needham estimates that there are as many as thirty of each title),
the Pavier quartos can provide an especially useful account of the ways in which
multiple paper stocks move though a printing house in a series of books that
clearly were printed in rapid succession. Finally, by tracing the complex patterns
of the paper stocks, I am able to provide new insights into the order and method
of the printing of the Pavier quartos.


First it will be useful to consider in some detail what we know about the origin
and nature of mixed paper stocks. It is worthwhile in this connection to quote
at length Philip Gaskell's description of what is presented as a printer's typical
procedure for acquiring and using paper:

As a rule he took paper from particular lots for particular books, not from a general stock,
for it was never normal for a printer to sink capital in a stock of paper sufficient for miscel-
laneous book-printing. A batch of paper was specially ordered from a paper supplier for a
particular book, the order generally being placed and the cost met by whoever was finan-
cially responsible for printing it, be it a bookseller or the author, or the printer himself;
alternatively the printer could buy the paper and charge it out with the sheets. Enough
paper would normally be ordered at once for the whole edition (which was one reason why
casting-off was an early necessity), and as far as possible it would be supplied as a single
lot, of even size and quality and with a single watermark-design throughout.[15]

Gaskell goes on to note that although many early books are printed on more
than one paper, the various papers usually appear in extended runs, and "batches
of different papers would not as a rule be mixed," but paper left over from a
job, and/or less-than-perfect "naughty" sheets culled from quires of paper, were
sometimes used to eke out a main supply of paper.[16] Such remnants, as opposed to
runs, might be used in the middle of books where slightly defective paper would
be less noticeable, or to print cancels or other resettings (as when fewer than the
required number of sheets have been run off, or some accident spoiled part of
the run of an edition sheet.)[17] Finally, in a cryptic footnote Gaskell remarks that


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"Not all printers (etc.) bothered about uniformity of paper in a book,"[18] with no
explanation of what this might mean in terms of his generalized account of the
acquisition and use of printing paper. Is the implication that a book printed on
mixed paper indicates a lack of care on the printer's part? My own investigations
indicate that Gaskell's account requires considerable modification.

When I began to study paper bibliographically I was vaguely aware from
Greg's account of the Pavier quartos that mixed stocks of paper were sometimes
used in producing hand-press books. Stevenson in fact begins "Watermarks are
Twins" by stating that "Most early books are printed on a variety of papers. They
contain a number of different watermarks," but goes on to assert that "that simi-
lar wild mixtures" to those found in the Pavier quartos "are rare."[19] I was thus
unprepared for the wild mixture of papers I found when I began to examine cop-
ies of the three editions of Piers Plowman printed by Robert Crowley in 1550 (STC
19906, 19907, and 19907a).[20] The first edition was printed almost entirely on
remnants: in the twenty-two paper copies examined (three others are printed on
vellum) I found that twenty-four different paper stocks had been used in produc-
ing its thirty sheets (twenty-nine full sheets and two half-sheets printed together).
Individual gatherings were printed on as many as five different stocks, while only
six gatherings appeared on a single paper. There is considerably more regular-
ity in the second edition, where only eleven stocks were used—and in the third,
where there are seventeen. In the latter two editions there are several substantial
runs of paper, a feature generally absent in the first edition, and gatherings are
much more likely to appear on a single paper stock. Seven paper stocks appear
in two of the three editions, and three stocks can be found in all three. In total,
at least thirty-nine different paper stocks were used to print the three editions—
and thus at least seventy-eight individual watermarks. And nine of the water-
mark pairs had their designs repeated in a second pair of moulds (a feature of
the Pavier quarto papers, as will be seen below). But in the three Piers editions
there is no discemable difference between the care taken by the printer with the
first edition, which lacks significant runs of paper, and with the second and third.

The mixing of paper stocks probably occurred at every stage of production,
distribution, and use in the printing house. In the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, most of the ordinary printing paper used in England came from Nor-
mandy and Brittany. As Stevenson notes, many of these paper mills were small,
one-vat, family operations. A paper merchant or factor might make regular trips
up and down the small streams where the mills were situated, picking up what-
ever was available and, sorting by size and quality, combining it into larger units
for packing and shipping to England. Stevenson speculated on other additional
ways in which varieties might become mixed: "no doubt the piling into cargo
boats, the unloading at London, the stacking in the warehouse of the London
paper merchant and later on the shelves of the printer he sold the paper to—all


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this handling contributed to the mixture of papers we find in books. And much
might happen in the laying out of tokens for the presses."[21] At the end of a par-
ticular printing job the printer might return leftover paper to the warehouse, to
be mixed with other small batches and used in future projects. Or the printer
might have sold off such odd lots to a paper merchant who would have combined
them with other remnants similarly acquired and then resold them, perhaps to
be used for job printing or ephemera. At this stage we don't know what vagaries
of these complex processes result in some books being printed on a single paper
stock, others on slightly mixed stocks, still others on wildly mixed stocks. (All
three occur in the Pavier quartos.) How did printer or publishers decide to print
on homogenous paper or mixed paper? And why, within mixed paper volumes,
do some gatherings appear on a single stock? Only a large-scale study of all ex-
tant books printed over a lengthy period could even hope to answer these ques-
tions. But, in contrast to Gaskell's suppositions, moderately mixed paper stocks
may ultimately be found to be something of a norm, and wildly mixed stocks not
at all infrequent.[22]


Philip Gaskell, A New Introduction to Bibliography, (1972; repr. with corr. New York:
Oxford Univ. Press, 1975), p. 142.


Gaskell, New Introduction, p. 142.


Gaskell, New Introduction, pp. 142–143. For an extended consideration of the potential
bibliographical significance of runs and remnants in printed books see chapter 6, "Runs and
Remnants," in Stevenson's The Problem of the Missale Speciale (London: Bibliographical Society,
1967), pp. 71–99.


Gaskell, New Introduction, p. 142, n. 4.


Stevenson, "Twins," pp. 57, 58.


See R. Carter Hailey, "Giving Light to the Reader: Robert Crowley's Editions of Piers
(1550)," diss., Univ. of Virginia, 2001, pp. 173–322.


Stevenson, "Twins," p. 60.


For example, having examined five copies of the [1550?] edition of Chaucer's Workes
(STC 5071–74; actually a single edition with a different colophon for each member of the four-
man consortium of publishers), I distinguished sixteen different CROWN stocks mixed with two
BEAR stocks. For a book of 181 edition sheets, I consider this a moderate mix. By contrast,
in examining a single copy of John Marbecke's 1550 Concordance (STC 17300) I found fifty-six
watermark pairs represented in its 202 edition sheets.


To deal effectively with the profusion of paper stocks found in the Pavier quar-
tos requires a methodology that was unavailable to either Greg or Stevenson. Some
twenty-five years ago, in an article that I believes stands with Stevenson's "Water-
marks are Twins" in its importance for the study of handmade laid paper, David L.
Vander Meulen provided a new method for achieving certainty of recognition.
In "The Identification of Paper without Watermarks," Vander Meulen demon-
strated that the measurement of chainlines could provide a unique identifier for
the product of individual paper moulds.[23] Unlike sewing dots[24] —or watermarks
themselves for that matter—chainlines "are present in every leaf of handmade
paper manufactured before the introduction of wove paper in the later eigh-
teenth century."[25] Since the spacing between chainlines is rarely if ever entirely
regular, chainspace models—produced by the careful measuring, recording, and
ordering of chainspaces to reflect their original arrangement across the length of


Page 157
the sheet—can serve as a fingerprint for the mould. This is so because there is
nearly always somewhere in the sequence of spaces some distinctive pattern of
narrower and wider spaces that can serve as a sort of genetic marker (as can the
highly unusual pattern of absolute or near regularity). Chainlines result from the
impression of the fine sewing wires that tie the laid wires together. Since they are
secured at intervals of approximately 5–10 mm to the supporting wooden ribs,
chainlines are much less likely to shift their position or deteriorate than are wa-
termarks, and hence are much more stable over the life of the mould. The truth
of this can be seen by comparing regular chainlines to tranchefiles—"an extra
wire between the final chain wire and the frame of the mould."[26] Unlike the other
chains, tranchefiles are not attached to a rib, and anyone who has measured
chainspaces extensively will have noticed that tranchefiles wander more from
top to bottom of the sheet, and are subject to much greater variation, than their
more firmly anchored fellows. Chainlines may also, though less conspicuously,
wander from each other as they traverse the sheet. For this reason chainspaces
should consistently be measured across what was originally the center of the
sheet, whatever the format of the book. Folios are measured across the middle
of the leaf, quartos in the gutter, octavos along the top edge, etc. The state of the
chainlines themselves will remain relatively stable, even as the watermark goes
through a number of successive states because of damage or wear. I have found
chainspace models to be particularly valuable in helping to establish the identity
of watermarks in variant states, and thus to avoid the misidentification of water-
marks in different states as different watermarks. While Vander Meulen devel-
oped his method for the identification of unwatermarked papers, the chainspace
model is perhaps even more powerful when combined with a watermark image,
a combination I have dubbed the "mugshot and fingerprint" method, following
the apt suggestion of David L. Gants.[27]

Before I move to a discussion of the Pavier quarto papers, I will explain
in some detail my method for collecting and displaying the data that I use to
describe watermarked papers. And let me first reassure would-be paper detec-
tives that when stalking the wild filigrane they need arm themselves with only
a thin, flexible, plastic ruler with a millimeter scale. Or perhaps two—I find it
handy to have both a 6″ and 12″ caliber ruler available. Frequent reference to
figure 1, which illustrates Greg's marks 1 and 14 (a single pair), will make the
following discussion clearer. First, I believe that it is essential always to view and
reproduce watermarks from the same side of the sheet, regardless of whether
initials, if present, are right reading or not. Consistency helps to avoid confusion.
While arguments are sometimes made for viewing from the mould side on the
analogy of a printed sheet being the mirror image of the forme, my own prefer-
ence is to view from the felt side, which is the equivalent of looking down on the
paper mould.[28] It is thus first necessary to determine the mould and felt side of


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FIGURE 1. Watermarks 1\14; BPOT: LE (?).

the sheet by examining the leaves with a raking light to find the side that bears
indentations from the chain and laid wires and the wireform of the watermark.
This may on occasion be a simple task, with the chain indentations appearing
almost like furrows from a plow; at other times, especially if the book has been
washed and pressed, it may be considerably more difficult, even unachievable,
though an experienced researcher will grow more sensitive to subtle clues. Once
the felt side has been identified it is necessary to determine the leaves and sides
of the leaves which must be measured to yield the full chainspace model (I call
these the complementary leaves). Most watermarks have a definable right-side-
upness, which helps to establish the correct orientation from which to measure
chainlines.[29] (In order to follow my explanation, it may be helpful at this point to


Page 159
get out a sheet of ruled paper and fold it as a quarto.) In quarto, measurements
can be taken from four possible orientations of the sheet, as viewed from the felt
side and with the watermark right-side up: 1v/2r; 2v/1r; 3v/4r; 4v/3r. Once I've es-
tablished the felt side of a quarto sheet, I turn the book sideways and find the leaf
that has the top half of the watermark. If, for example, the top of a POT appears
in 4r when viewed from the felt side, I know that by measuring from left-to-right
in the gutter first of 3v, and then, having rotated the book 180 degrees, left-to-
right in the gutter of 4r, I can put the two halves together in the sequence 3v/4r
to produce a chainspace model of the whole sheet before folding (less whatever
portion is lost to trimming), as viewed from the felt side and reading from left to
right. Similarly, if the top of a HAND appears in 2v when viewed from the felt
side, I know to measure the sequence 2v/1r. A bit of reflective origami will show
that, oriented from the felt side, if the top of a mark appears in the verso of a
leaf it will be a left-hand mark, if in the recto, a right-hand mark. Measurements
are conveniently done to the nearest half-millimeter, since, as Vander Meulen
notes, chainlines are approximately one millimeter wide and an easy discrimina-
tor when measuring is whether the chain falls on or between millimeter markings
on the ruler.[30]

Whenever possible I gather chainspace data from seven to ten examples of
a given mark and transfer the measurements to an EXCEL spreadsheet that
I use to produce a composite model by averaging the measurements for each
individual space. I include in my descriptions the number of exemplars that
have gone into making up the composite model (note this is not the total number
encountered of a particular mark; these totals will appear in the summary tables
in the appendixes). While a model made up from seven or eight exemplars will
be somewhat more accurate than one with only two or three, even a model built
with only a few exemplars will usually permit certainty of recognition. Once a
composite chainspace model has been built, it is easy to determine how many
ribs the mould had by counting the number of non-tranchefile chainlines. In the
present example the tranchefile at the right end of the "a" twin is excluded, and,
since the measurements on either side of the gap in the middle of the model add
up to nearly the average chainspace width, it is apparent that no chainline has
been lost. Thus the BPOT: LE (?) moulds had eighteen ribs.

Having formed the composite model, I then establish the average width of
all full non-tranchefile chainspaces. The average chainspace width for a pair of
moulds is generally exceptionally close, in the present example, BPOT: LE (?),
a difference of only .08 mm. The reason, upon reflection, is fairly obvious. A
mouldmaker must produce twin moulds of identical size so that so that a single
deckle will fit both. Although the spacing of the supporting wooden ribs will
generally vary slightly in the two moulds—and that is their great evidentiary
value— they will both have the same number of ribs, and thus their average
spaces will usually be quite close. (Average widths for a pair of moulds will tend
to be closer when the composite models from which they are extracted have a


Page 160
larger number of exemplars.) Average chainspace widths are of particular value
in correctly pairing twins when a watermark design, say a POT with the initials
IM on its belly, has been repeated in a series of mould pairs.[31] In displaying the
composite chainspace model I use the following conventions. Vertical strokes
indicate chainlines, and the numbers between them are the chainspace measure-
ments; I indicate the position of the watermark in the sequence by bolding and
italicizing the measurement of the space between its attendant chainlines. If the
mark is centered between chainlines, as are nearly all of the Pavier examples, a
typical sequence will appear like this:[32]
5.5 | 20 | 23.5 | 22.5 | 21.5 | 19.5 | 21 | 21.5 | 21 | 14}
{17.5 | 20 | 22.5 | 21 | 20 | 21 | 20 | 20.5 | 20
If a mark is centered between chainlines, the typical sequence appears like
19 | 18.5 | 18.5 | 20 | 18 | 19 | 19 | 19 | 20.5 | 17}
{18.5 | 18.5 | 20 | 20 | 19.5 | 20 | 19 | 20 | 18 | 17
Braces indicate a gap or gaps in the model. In quarto, the gap in the middle of the
model represents the slight loss occasioned by the opening and trimming of the
top edge during binding. (Very occasionally the combination of copies allows for
a quarto model with no center gap.) Chainspace models for folios will also have
a single gap, in this case representing the part of the sheet that is hidden in the
gutter. Octavo models will have three such gaps, two from gutter loss, one from
opening and trimming the fore-edge. The measurements before and after the gap
are the widest encountered at those positions, and the measurements at either
end of the model are from the largest copy examined; if a deckle edge is pres-
ent in any copy, it can be designated by a percent sign (%).[34] I include one fur-
ther measurement in my watermark descriptions, the wireline density per 3 cm.
Wireline density is a measure of the number of fine laid wires that run perpen-
dicular to the supporting ribs and form the sieve of the mould. I have found
papers with as few as 22 and as many as 40 wirelines per 3 cm, though as with
average chainspace widths, the two individuals in a pair of moulds will exhibit
similar densities.

Once I have measured the chainspaces I make a careful freehand drawing
of the watermark, and in the description I note the copy, gathering, and ori-
entation from which the drawing has been made. If beta-radiographs or digi-
tal photographs are available, so much the better, but a reasonably accurate
drawing will suffice since it is the combination of mugshot and fingerprint that
permits positive identification. When a watermark appears frequently, such as


Page 161
Greg's 23, which is present in every gathering of every copy of The Whole Conten-
I can be selective about the exemplar I use for the drawing, searching for
a less tightly bound copy and for leaves in which the watermark is relatively
clear. With a rarely occurring mark, I simply draw whatever I can see, and hope
to run across a better exemplar in another copy. Since quarto watermarks are
inevitably divided by the gutter and are usually at least partly obscured by the
type, it is possible to produce a more complete drawing by conflating images
from several exemplars that are positioned slightly differently in respect to the
gutter. I find this, however, to be a dangerous and unnecessary expedient, since
it is all too easy to conflate drawings from various states of the watermark, thus
falsifying the evidence. As with the chainspace model, a bit of indeterminacy in
the middle of a drawing is no bar to positive identification with the mugshot and
fingerprint system. When I have created the mugshot and fingerprint for a paper
stock, including a composite chainspace model from at least seven examples of
each twin, I can move from collection to identification. Once the product of a
mould pair can be positively identified, there is little to be gained by collecting
additional chainspace examples, though additional drawings may be useful if a
particular mark is encountered in clearly variant states.

I have developed a system of reference notation for naming watermarks, es-
sentially to serve as a shorthand mnemonic for categorizing the large number of
watermarks that are encountered in books printed on heavily mixed paper stocks.
These references are not intended to serve as formularies, since no formulary
I have encountered can be used by itself to identify a particular watermark in
another setting. That is the job of the full mugshot and fingerprint description.
A sample reference, in this case for Greg's mark 2, would read: BPOT: R/LM.
The initial superscript indicates whether the watermark is centered on (O) or
between (B) chainlines (in the Pavier quartos all but Greg's 15\16 are centered
between chainlines). The second element identifies the basic design of the water-
mark, following which I add particular distinguishing features like the initials
R over LM that appear on the belly of this POT. If the initials are uncertain,
I follow them with a query. Such is the case with Greg's 22, where he sees the
initials as BP but where in my own drawings they appear more likely to be PR.
Sometime there are what appear to be initials, but they are so indistinct as to
be unidentifiable. Here I simply substitute queries for the (presumed) letters. In
other cases, especially when no initials are present, I may add several words of
description; for example one of the new marks I encountered is dubbed "BPOT:
neck w/vertical stripes." As will be shown below, some of Greg's drawings actu-
ally represent more than one pair in circumstances where the manufacturer has
repeated a design in a second (or more) set of moulds. In this situation I mimic
software manufacturers by adding a .1, .2, etc., to the descriptor; for example,
Greg's mark 6 turns out actually to be two pairs bearing a similar design: BPOT:
GL.1 and BPOT: GL.2. If I need to refer specifically to one or the other twin
rather than the pair as a whole, a final superscript "a" or "b" distinguishes the
two twins that make up the watermark pair: BPOT: R/LMa and BPOT: R/LMb.
Since the default for watermark pairs is to have one twin's mark centered in the
right half of the sheet, the other in the left (see note 26 above), in the absence of
a following discriminator, the "a" twin may be assumed to be a right mark, the


Page 162

FIGURE 2. Greg's watermark drawings from "On Certain False Dates in Shakespearian


Page 163


Page 164

TABLE 1: List of watermarks

0?  unidentified unmarked stocks 
0.1  UNMARKED.1 
0.2  UNMARKED.2 
0.3  UNMARKED.3 
0.4  UNMARKED.4 
1\14  BPOT: LE(?) 
4.1  BPOT: fleur top.1 
4.2  BPOT: fleur top.2 
4.3  BPOT: fleur top.3 
4.4  BPOT: fleur top.4 
BPOT: BP crescent top 
6.1  BPOT: GL.1 
6.2  BPOT: GL.2 
7.1  BPOT: C/DV.1 
7.2  BPOT: C/DV.2 
7.3  BPOT: C/DV.3 
7.4  BPOT: C/DV.4 
10\11  BFLEUR 
12\19  12\19.1  BPOT: GG.1 
12\19.2  BPOT: GG.2 
13  BLEAF(?) 
I am uncertain what this design is meant to represent; Briquet has no
similar examples. 
15\16  15\16.1  oSHIELD: RG.1 
15\16.2  oSHIELD: RG.2 
17  BPOT: CL cross top 
20  20.1  BDIAMOND/FLEUR.1 
22  BPOT: BP? 
In my drawing the letters seem rather to be PR. 
23  BPOT: PA 
24\27  24\27.1  BPOT: ?? balls and crescent top.1 
24\27.2  BPOT: ?? balls and crescent top.2 
For both these pairs it is unclear what the initials are. Greg's drawings
of 24 show the initials J1 and for 27 the initials C/LG; both were made
from copies of MND. My own drawings, also from MND, are more am-
biguous. The similar pair 24/27.2 appears, with one exception, only in
MWW; again the initials are unclear and ambiguous. 
Greg's drawing is upside-down; he sees the V as an A. 
29  BPOT: neck with H 
30  BPOT: neck with vertical stripes 
31  BPOT: MP 
32  BPOT: C/DC 
33  BHAND: PA 
34  BPOT: MV 
35  BPOT: LDB 


Page 165
36B   POT: P/AV 
37  BPOT: ?? 
This pair is very tentatively identified from two marks found in the L and
L18(2) Oldcastle, neither of which is wholly visible. The average chain-
spaces are nearly identical. 
38  BPOT: O/DD 
39  BPOT: IM 
40  BPOT: BB(?) 
41  BPOT: flower and crescent top (bottom not visible in only exemplar) 
42  BPOT: CM/L 
43.1  BPOT: PD with spike top.1 
One of the twins is the mark Stevenson believed bore the date 1617 or
43.2  BPOT: PD with spike top.2 
45  BPOT: R/OD 
46  BPOT: MD? 
This is the other of Stevenson's "Shakespearian Dated Watermarks." 

"b" twin a left mark. In cases where both marks are centered in the same half of
the mould I add a [L] or [R] to the twin that does not match this default: i.e. in
a pair with both twins centered to the left 1 add an [L] to the reference for the
"a" twin: BPOT: BLa [L]; in a pair with both twins centered to the right 1 add a
[R] to the reference for the "b" twin: BSHIELD: RGb [R].

For ease of comparison with Greg's watermark drawings, which are repro-
duced in figure 2, and simply to conserve space in the sequence and summary
tables that appear in the appendixes, I have retained and extended Greg's system
of numbering. In table 1 I first give Greg's number, followed by my own refer-
ence. Where two of Greg's drawings turn out to be twins, I indicate the pair with
a backslash between the numbers: 1\14, etc. Where a single Greg drawing or
pair of drawings actually represents multiple pairs with similar designs I add the
.1, .2, etc., to the number(s). Numbers higher than 27 indicate marks not found
by Greg, nearly all of which appear very rarely in the Pavier quartos. The only
significance to the numbers themselves is that they indicate, for the most part,
the sequence in which the watermarks were encountered.


David L Vander Meulen, "The Identification of Paper without Watermarks: The Ex-
ample of Pope's Dunciad," Studies in Bibliography 37 (1984): 58–81.


Stevenson had discovered that for incunabular watermarked papers the unique pat-
tern of sewing dots—the points at which the wireform was fastened to the mould with relatively
coarse sewing wire—persisted even as the watermark deteriorated around them, providing a
ready means for identifying the same mark in variant states. But sewing dots are rarely visible
in later papers when the sewing wire had become finer and eventually the wireforms, rather
than being attached at discrete points, were sewn continuously to their moulds. See The Problem
of the Missale Speciale,
p. 35.


Stevenson, Problem of the Missale Speciale, p. 60.


Stevenson, Problem of the Missale Speciale, p. 64.


"Identifying and Tracking Paper Stocks in Early Modern London," Papers of the Biblio-
graphical Society of America
94.4 (2000): 531–540 (p. 532).


I initially made this determination from an examination of the mixed stocks used to
print Robert Crowley's three editions of Piers Plowman (STC 19906, 19907, 19907 a, all dated
1550). Of the seventy-eight individual watermarks encountered, a majority of those which bore
initials were right reading from the felt side. Examination/description from the felt side is also
preferred in the Watermark Registration Standard of the International Association of Paper
Historians, Section 3.0.17: "It is recommended to collect data with the wire side facing down."


Not all watermark designs have a definable up and down, though POTS, which pre-
dominate in the Pavier quartos, clearly do. The watermark can appear in either half of the
sheet. In watermark pairs the marks are frequently placed in opposing halves of the sheet, but
pairs with both marks to the left or both to the right are not at all uncommon. In the three
Crowley Piers editions, of thirty-nine watermark pairs, thirty-four had one twin with the mark
to the right (R), the other with the mark to the left (L); two pairs were R/R; three pairs were
L/L. In the Pavier quartos, of the thirty-six pairs where I have identified both twins, twenty-
three were R/L; six were L/L; seven were R/R.


Vander Meulen, "Identification," pp. 60–61.


While the two individuals in a pair of moulds will have nearly identical average spaces,
the spacing of ribs, and thus of chainlines, can vary widely from mould pair to mould pair. I
have found pairs with average spaces as narrow as 18 mm, and as wide as 35 mm.


Note that in this model we can determine from the widths of the partial spaces in the
middle of the model that a chainspace has been lost; like the BPOT: LE (?) pair this mould had
eighteen ribs.


And the principle can be extended for larger watermarks, which may spread them-
selves over a number of chains.


Of the more than 1600 Pavier quarto sheets examined, I have seen deckle edges on
only six occasions.


In the article that motivated me to undertake this study, Paul Needham pre-
dicted what a more complete investigation of the Pavier quarto paper stocks
might discover:

Under an awareness of twinship, the situation obviously changes markedly, though Greg's
argument from paper retains all its strength. Greg recorded 27 "different" marks, mostly
Pots, in four sets of the quartos: thus four copies each of the 81½ edition sheets, or about
310 watermarks (subtracting unwatermarked sheets). Simple probability suggests that
within these parameters various consequences become highly likely. First: some of the
recorded marks will surely pair off as twins; the number of stocks represented by the
drawings must be less than 27. Second: there will very probably be twin marks either that
did not turn up in this relatively small sample, or that Greg overlooked because their dif-


Page 166
ferentia are inconspicuous. Third: there could well be fugitive stocks that do not happen
to show up in these four copies. After all, nine of the watermarks recorded by Greg appear
in his sample in three or fewer examples each.[35]

Needham's predictions have turned out to be remarkably accurate. Indeed
several of Greg's drawings do pair up as twins; I have been able to identify twins
for all marks illustrated by Greg that are not themselves twins of other Greg
drawings; and there are indeed quite a number of "fugitive stocks," watermarks
that Greg had not encountered, including Stevenson's "dated" watermarks. An
additional and offsetting phenomenon that Needham could not have predicted
is that, perhaps paradoxically, Greg's drawings represent, at least in a sense, not
fewer than twenty-seven pairs, but considerably more. This is so because, as I
have noted, paper manufacturers often repeated the "same" design in a series
of mould pairs. (I use the word "same" guardedly, because of course the designs
are never identical [36] and similar pairs can be distinguished by their chainspace
models.) Thus for example Greg's drawing No. 4 turns out to represent four dif-
ferent mould pairs, all with the "same" POT: w/fleur top design.

I will now describe in more detail the several situations I encountered in
comparing Greg's drawings with the results of my own investigation. The most
unproblematic situation is where one of the drawings represents a single pair;
that is the case with numbers 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 13, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26. As can
be seen in the summary table in appendix 3, some watermark pairs, like 2 and 5,
occur quite frequently and appear in several of the quartos (these were thus
among the marks that were particularly valuable to Greg in exposing the false
dates), while others, like 3, 8, 9, and 13, occur in only one or two gatherings of a
single play. Other categories, however, present considerable complexity.

Ten of Greg's drawings pair up as twins: 1\14; 10\11; 12\19; 15\16; 24\27
(the fourth of these pairs had been identified by Stevenson.) How can I be certain
of these pairings, especially in the case of 1\14, where Greg's I shows no initials
in the pot's belly while his 14 bears the initials LE, and my own drawing of I has
vertical lines in the belly, my 14 with indeterminate initials (see figure 1)? After
the gathering of mugshots and fingerprints, the most important evidence for
pairing twins is their distribution in a printed book or books. In the simplest situ-
ation, if two individual marks of similar design, with similar average chainspaces
and wireline density, appear in a number of consecutive gatherings—arun—it
is highly probable that they came from twin paper moulds. One should not of
course expect them to alternate regularly or even necessarily to appear in a 50/50
ratio. Although the workings of probability dictate that in a long book printed on
a run of a single paper stock each of the twin marks will appear roughly half the
time, it is not at all uncommon in shorter runs for one of the twins to dominate.
I have occasionally found eight or nine examples of one twin before encountering


Page 167
the other. Chance is chancy, though as Tom Stoppard wittily illustrates in the
opening scene of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, no matter how many times
in a row heads has been thrown, the odds on the next throw remain 50/50. On
the other hand, in dealing with books that are printed on remnants, as are most
of the Pavier quartos, where changes in paper stocks are frequent and individual
gatherings may appear on more than one stock, one must examine multiple cop-
ies to begin reliably to pair twins. But again, if two marks of similar design and
measurements regularly appear in a particular gathering or gatherings, the prima
evidence is that they are twins.

In gathering 2A of Pericles, sixteen of twenty-three copies examined have
either the 1 or 14 mark; in gathering H of Merchant of Venice, thirteen of fourteen
copies have one or the other. Despite their variable appearance both from each
other and from different examples of each individual, average chainspace mea-
surements combined with the distribution evidence indicate that 1 and 14 are
a pair. Greg was rightly perplexed by these (and several other) watermarks, as
indicated by his notes to the drawings: "It is not absolutely certain whether Nos. 1
and 14 and 24 and 27 are really distinct or not. On the other hand Nos. 18 and 20
may be capable of being resolved." In 1 and 14 Greg had encountered variant
states of both watermarks, with the wires that had formed whatever letters origi-
nally appeared in the bellies of both pots bending, breaking, and in number 1
finally falling away entirely. On the other hand the basic designs of the two were
relatively stable and similar. Without the knowledge of watermark twinness or a
means for recognizing the same watermark in variant states, the situation was un-
derstandably baffling. Yet Greg's instincts were correct that both 1\14 and 24\27
were somehow connected. And if his use of the word "resolved" with reference to
numbers 18 and 20 means "separated, broken up, analyzed" (OED, sense 7), he
appears to have intuited that these individual marks might actually be two. Greg
seems to have been very close to discovering that watermarks are twins.

Greg's 10\11, both fleurs-de-lis, are uncomplicated, but the other pairs repre-
sented in Greg's drawings—12\19, 15\16, and 24\27—require additional atten-
tion since for each of the three there is in fact a second set of marks with similar
designs. In considering these pairs it is worth returning to Stevenson's statement
that "The RG Shields (Greg 15 & 16) are themselves twins; [and] the RG/D Shields
may be quadruplets."[37] Particularly notable is his characteristically offhand but
provocative suggestion that watermarks might, in some instances, be quadruplets.
Stevenson apparently encountered, as I have, a third pair of SHIELD: RG water-
marks in copies of Sir John Oldcastle. Because of their size, he noted their similarity
to 18, and, perhaps playfully, suggested quadruplets. (Greg states in the notes to
his drawings that "18 is really considerably larger" than 15 and 16.) The new set
of marks is, other than size, actually closer to 15\16, sharing the distinction of
being the only other Pavier quarto mark to be centered on chainlines rather that
between them. I have therefore designated the two as 15\16.1 (oSHIELD: RG.1)
and 15\16.2 (oSHIELD: RG.2). Does the distribution evidence suggest quadru-
plicity? Probably not. The pair 15\16.1 appears in some copies of H5 gatherings
E, F, G, and in most copies of Oldcastle gatherings A and B; 15\16.2 begins to


Page 168
appear in gathering D of Oldcastle and is also found in gatherings E, F, H, and I,
always mixed with 15\16.1, and always in a distinct minority. The distribution
thus suggests not quadruplets but a second set of twins, perhaps odd sheets used
as cording quires, possibly left over from a pair of moulds that had worn out.

Greg's 12\19–BPOT: GG.1 and BPOT: GG.2—not only presents the ques-
tion of quadruplets but also illustrates nicely a problem that I had encountered
before in the Crowley Piers Plowman papers. As can be seen in figure 3, each pair
consists of one POT with a floppy top and wide base, and one with a skinny top
and narrow base. If one were to judge by appearance alone, a reasonable as-
sumption would be that the two floppy tops and two skinny tops are the twins.
But the average chainspace widths show this not to be the case. The distribution
of these two pairs is intriguing (see the sequence table of watermarks in individual
plays in appendix 2). In Henry V gathering A, I encountered seventeen examples
of Pair 1 and only two of Pair 2. But in Lear there is a greater balance; in the
examined copies gathering F had Pair 1 in seven, Pair 2 in thirteen, and in gath-
ering H thirteen of Pair 1 and six of Pair 2. In total I found thirty-one instances
of Pair 1 and twenty of Pair 2, a relatively even balance considering the size of
the sample. It is of course possible that the distribution in H5 gathering A is a
statistical anomaly, and that were the sample great enough that there would be
a relatively even mix of the two pairs in all three gatherings. But this can be
only speculative, because sufficient evidence is not extant. And even if it were,
watermarks are not literally quadruplets. Although in the present example gath-
erings F and H of Lear certainly give that appearance, the measurements indicate
two distinctive pairs of moulds. How then might such mixtures come about?
Although the predominant sources of paper for the English printing trade had
only one vat, there were presumably a few larger establishments that possessed
two or more.[38] Papetieres with more than one vat might on occasion have used
two pairs of moulds with similar designs simultaneously, indiscriminately mixing
the sheets as they were dried, sized, and packed for shipment. It is even possible
that in some mills the product of two vats was turned out onto on a single post,
a procedure that would have distinct advantages in completing the post more
quickly and would result in the appearance of watermark quadruplets. But even
in such cases, average chainspace widths might distinguish the original twins.

Greg's numbers 24 and 27 are the last of the twins represented in his draw-
ings that turn out actually to be two pairs, both shapely two-handled pots sur-
mounted by an arrangement of small balls in a diamond shape, and surmounted
by a crescent. Greg's 24 shows the initials JI in the belly, his 27 bearing the initial
C/LG. In no example I have seen are these initials clear, or even clearly initials,
though there is some sort of design in the belly of all four individuals of these
related pairs. Here distribution is a key to correctly pairing the twins, since, with
the exception of a single example of 24\27.2 in MND, 24\27.1 appears only in
MND, 24\27.2 only in MWW.

The most difficult situation I encountered was that in which a single Greg
drawing was found to represent multiple pairs: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4 ("a" twin only);
6.1, 6.2 ("a" twin only); 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 ("a" twin only), 7.4 ("a" twin only); 20.1,


Page 169

FIGURE 3. Watermarks 12\19.1 and 12\19.2; BPOT: GG.1 and BPOT: GG.2.

20.2. As with the other multiple pairs I was able to identify and distinguish simi-
lar watermarks and pair twins on the basis of average chainspace measurements
and distribution. All four pairs of the Greg 4 POTs have similar fleurs-de-lis
chapeaux balanced precariously on top. The most frequently occurring pair, 4.1
(BPOT: fleur top.1; see figure 4), appears regularly in gatherings C, D, and G of
MWW(with a few strays found in MND and MV); the newly discovered 4.2, 4.3,
and 4.4 all appear in either/both MWW gatherings C and D. These seeming wa-
termark octuplets would be nearly impossible to distinguish without chainspace
measurements and their averages:

  • 4.1 average 21.13 and 20.88;
  • 4.2 average 23.27 and 23.27;
  • 4.3 average 19.50 and 19.84;
  • 4.4 average 22.88.


Page 170

FIGURE 4. Watermark pair 4.1; BPOT: fleur top.1.

Fortunately, the first three have such distinct averages that the pairings are clear.
On the basis of average alone, the single example of 4.4 might possibly pair
with one of the 4.2s, but watermarks are not triplets and its twin remains a

The four pairs represented by Greg 7, a crescent-crested pot bearing the
initials C/DV, present a slightly different situation. Pair 7.1 occurs regularly and
predominantly in Pericles gathering X and MVgathering C; the other three pairs,
7.2, 7.3, and 7.4, are more scattered, lurking mostly by twos and three in the
gutters of assorted sheets of MND, MWW, MV, and Lear. In contrast to the Greg
4 POTs, I have found no gathering in which all four pairs are present. But again
distribution (for 7.1) and average chainspace width permit pairing, and while the
average for 7.3 is close to that of 7.2, its chainspace model is distinct:

  • 7.1 average 22.09 and 21.95;
  • 7.2 average 21.57 and 21.65;
  • 7.3 average 21.45;
  • 7.4 average 24.23.

The two remaining cases where a single Greg drawing represents multiple
pairs are, by contrast, fairly straightforward. The only examples of a second pair
of Greg 6 watermarks (BPOT: GL.2), both of the same individual, were found in
gathering F of the Trinity Cambridge and National Library of Scotland copies of
MWW. Greg saw the Trinity copy, but understandably did recognize that it was
different from the examples he had seen in five other Pavier quartos. The chain-
space models of 6.2 are, however, quite distinct from the 6.1 pair. The two pairs
represented by Greg's 20 are distinguished not only by their chainspace models,
but, in contrast to the Greg 4s and 7s, by a mutually exclusive distribution pat-
tern: 20.1 is found only in gatherings I and L of Lear, 20.2 only in gatherings B
and C of H5.


Page 171

Not only do some of Greg's drawings represent multiple marks, but Greg o:
"NO WATER MARK" comprises several identifiable unmarked stocks. Using
Vander Meulen's system of chainspace measurement—which was developed spe-
cifically for identifying paper without watermarks—and the evidence of distribu-
tion, I distinguished four distinct pairs of unwatermarked papers, all appearing
in Lear, H5, or both. Correctly pairing twins in unmarked papers can present a
greater challenge than pairing their watermarked cousins. In marked papers the
default probability is that two marks of similar design that appear either in runs
or in the same gathering or gatherings of multiple copies are twins (though there
may be the complicating factor of multiple pairs of the same design as discussed
above). Unmarked papers lack this obvious visual discriminator, and without
the cue of the watermark, it is easy to measure exemplars of the same unmarked
paper in opposite directions, producing chainspace models that are mirror im-
ages of each other. The only expedient is constantly to be alert to this possibil-
ity, and to compare individual models backwards and forwards when trying to
find matches. When a run of a single unwatermarked stock appears in a series
of gatherings, pairing the twins is perfectly straightforward. But this was not the
situation I found in Lear and H5, though eventually the pairings became clear.
Unmarked stock 0.1 was the most prevalent, and, in the copies examined, the
only one of the unmarked papers to appear in both quartos: in gatherings C, D,
E, and G of H5 and I and L of Lear. Stock 0.2 ("a" twin only), appears in Lear
gatherings C and E; stock 0.3 exclusively in Lear gathering G; and stock 0.4 in H5
gatherings E, F, and G. Only in gatherings E and G of H5 does more than one
of the unmarked stocks appear, so that while proper pairings were a bit murky at
first, distribution and average chainspace evidence brought eventual clarity:

  • 0.1 average 21.25 and 21.32;
  • 0.2 average 23.85;
  • 0.3 average 21.73 and 21.61;
  • 0.4 average 24.23 and 24.31.

Again as predicted by Needham, I discovered a substantial number of water-
marks not encountered by Greg, several of which had been previously identified
by Stevenson. Needham's description of these marks as "fugitives" is particularly
apt, since, of the twenty new marks I rounded up, a dozen were loners repre-
sented by only a single individual. The fugitive kind is by nature elusive, and
fittingly enough, half of them were rousted from their hideout in the Oldcastle,
the last of the Pavier quartos to be printed. A few of the new-found marks were
more gregarious: four examples of No. 29 = BPOT: neck w/H; six of No. 33 =
BHAND: PA (the only HAND marks encountered); and seven of No. 31 = BPOT:
MP. And I eventually found both twins for seven of the new marks. There are a
few fugacious unwatermarked papers as well. These are the loneliest of the lon-
ers. I cannot posit a separate stock for each individual since without additional
distribution evidence there is no way of determining which might be twins. Paper
stocks, prolific as they already are, should not be unnecessarily multiplied.

By far the most interesting of the fugitive watermarks are Stevenson's "Shake-
spearian Dated Watermarks" (see note 9). It was impossible not to feel a certain
frisson on first looking into Huntington's Oldcastle and H5 and recognizing the


Page 172

FIGURE 5. Stevenson's watermark drawings from "Shakespearian Dated Watermarks," p. 161.

little pots that Stevenson had scrutinized on that long-ago July morning. It was,
however, a distinctly chill and rainy March day when playing at bowls was not an
option. And it is with no little sadness that I report Stevenson's supposition that
these marks are dated to have been erroneous. For ease of comparison, I have
reproduced Stevenson's drawings (figure 5) as well as my own (figures 6 and 7),
which I believe to be slightly more accurate (my drawing of the H5 mark [figure 7],
from the felt side, is the reverse of Stevenson's.) I am fairly certain that the mark-
ings in the neck of the Oldcastle POT are not in fact a date. It is unclear that
there is in fact an initial digit 1 distinct from the line that forms the side of the
pot's top. What Stevenson saw as a 6 is not at all clearly so, and could be more
plausibly seen as an 8 or an X; the design may well have originally been XOX.
And it seems highly unlikely that even had Jaggard swept out his stockroom he
would have found a sheet of paper that had lain about for a decade.

The arguments against the H5 example being dated are fairly definitive. The
last figure, if indeed it is a figure, is a 9 not a 7. And Stevenson somewhat exag-
gerates the dot between the putative 6 and 9, which he believed to the stub of a
1 that has broken off; it appears more likely to be a small sewing dot. Stevenson's
argument became even more tenuous once I had discovered the twin of this
mark in gathering E of the Victoria and Albert copy of H5. Here the figure that
Stevenson supposed to be a 9 is actually reversed and there is insufficient space
for a 1 in the middle of the design, though it would in any case be singular (pun
intended) if the same digit had coincidentally broken off in both twins. Any doubt
was dispelled by the discovery of one of the twins from a second set of moulds
bearing a similar design (figure 8). Again there are only three figures, which are


Page 173

NOTE. Though it is the only one of the twins encountered, I call this the "b" twin because
it is centered in the left of the sheet as viewed from the felt side. The likelihood is that if I
found its fugitive twin it would be a mark centered on the right. The same is the case with
the mark illustrated in figure 8.

FIGURE 6. Watermark 46; BPOT:MD?b.


FIGURE 7. Watermark 43.1; BPOT: PD w/spike top.1.


Page 174

FIGURE 8. Watermark 43.1; BPOT: PD w/spike top.2.

probably lines and curlicues rather than numerals. There are no Shakespearian
dated watermarks in the Pavier quartos.


Needham, "Allan H. Stevenson and the Bibliographical Uses of Paper," p. 38.


It is thus risky at best to try to identify a watermark by saying that it is "like" a mark
in the Briquet, Churchill, or Heawood watermark catalogues. Is the mark in question literally
identical to the one pictured, is it a twin of that mark, or from an entirely separate set of moulds
perhaps produced years before or after the mark adduced? The utility of these catalogues for
identification is thus extremely limited.


Stevenson, "Twins," p. 80.


Stevenson, "Twins," p. 59 and p. 59, nn. 9 and 10.


As the sequence tables of watermarks by gatherings in the plays illustrate (ap-
pendix 1, below), the paper stocks of the Pavier quartos present a baffling array
of different situations and combinations.[39] The Whole Contention is printed on an
entirely homogenous stock; Pericles and The Yorkshire Tragedy are both on a similar
and slightly mixed stock of five papers (each has one mark that doesn't appear in
the other); The Merchant of Venice is printed on a moderate mix of ten papers; and
the four remaining titles exhibit miscellaneous mixtures of between fifteen and
eighteen papers. Similarly, there is considerable variation in individual gatherings.


Page 175
A few, including Per gathering T, MND gathering H, MWW gathering E, and SJO
gathering K are, in the copies I have examined, printed on a single paper; a few
other gatherings—Per X and Z and YT C, for example—are nearly as homog-
enous, with a second paper appearing in only in one or two copies. At the other
end of the spectrum I have found nine different papers in MWW gathering C and
eight in H5 gathering E. As can be seen in the summary table of watermarks in
all plays (appendix 3), individual papers also vary considerably in their frequency.
The most frequently occurring is No. 23, since every gathering of each of the
twenty-three copies of The Whole Contention I have examined appears on this paper,
and the same stock also appears in the first few gatherings of Pericles. The most
ubiquitous paper, however, is No. 2, which appears in six of the eight quartos, in
a total of 26 gatherings. No.1\14 appears in five quartos (17 gatherings), No. 6.1
in five quartos (12 gatherings), and No. 5 in four quartos (10 gatherings). On the
other hand I found only a single example of each of a dozen fugitive papers.

While the distribution of the various paper stocks both within and between
titles is not straightforward, several patterns emerge that suggest a complex pro-
duction system that utilized cast-off copy and the concurrent printing of multiple
plays to keep Jaggard's two presses busy. Peter Blayney has demonstrated through
headline analysis a pattern of very regular alternation in the use of skeleton
formes for the printing of the Pavier quartos. With few exceptions, sheets are
printed and perfected using the same skeleton, and "alternate sheets use alternate
skeletons."[40] This pattern of alternation is, to an extent, recapitulated in the pa-
per stocks. After The Whole Contention, printed exclusively on No. 23, the printing
of Pericles begins with a new stock, No. 2, eked out with a bit of leftover 23. At
gatherings X and Y of Per two new stocks emerge, Nos. 7.1 and 6.1 respectively.
But then gathering Z goes back to stock 2 and sheet 2A is predominantly on
1\14. The pattern of alternation also includes The Yorkshire Tragedy, whose print-
ing had probably begun about the time Per had reached sheet Y or Z, with that
same general mix of papers appearing in YT as in the last four sheets of Per.[41]
The pattern continues with Merchant of Venice, whose paper stocks in the first few
gatherings alternate with those at the end of YT. The following table compares
the stocks for the last four gatherings of Per with the four gatherings of YT and
the first four of MV. The predominant mark is listed first and should be given
most weight in comparisons.

Per   2A 
7.1, 23  6.1, 23  2, 1\14  1\14, 2, 23, 6.1 
YT   tp/D 
1\14, 2, 23, 6.1  1\14, 2  2, 1\14  6.1, 2, 23 
2, 1\14, 7.1  6.1, 2, 15\16.2  7.1, 1\14  6.1, 1\14 


Page 176

The suggestion is that each of the two presses had a particular stock of paper laid
out, with the printing and perfecting of sheets from Per alternating (though not nec-
essarily regularly) with the beginning of YT, then the end of YT with the beginning
ofMV, with movement back and forth between presses as the formes became ready.

In the wake of Greg's revelations about the Pavier quartos, W. J. Neidig in
1910 undertook a minute examination of their title pages, eight of which bore the
"Heb ddieu" printer's device. He determined that the device and the attribution
"Written by W. Shakespeare" had been left standing for most of the production of
the Pavier quartos, with the titles and publisher/date line being changed around
them as needed. By carefully tracking the series of changes, Neidig was able to
propose the order of their printing: The Whole Contention, Pericles, The Yorkshire Trag-
edy, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, King Lear, Henry the Fifth, Sir
John Oldcastle.
He contended that A Midsummer Night's Dream, which has a different
device on its title page, was printed separately from the rest of the series.[42]

Neidig further argued that the order of printing for the first three titles was:
"Whole Contention (text and title page), Pericles (text only), Yorkshire Tragedy (text
only), Yorkshire Tragedy (title page), Pericles (title page)."[43] The paper evidence
shows that this could not have been the case. The source of Neidig's error
was the assumption that the title pages of Per and YT were printed separately
from the texts of the plays, but in both cases the paper evidence makes clear
that the title pages were printed with their final gathering: 2B of YT and D of
Per. Surprisingly, the paper distribution shows that the final gathering of Per was
actually printed first, indicating that the copy had been quite accurately cast off,
a relatively straightforward task when working from printed copy (though neither
is a page-for-page, line-for-line reprint of its setting copy: Per Q3, 1611; YT Q1,
1608). The Per gathering 2B appears on the same mix of Nos. 2 and 23 as the
first two gatherings of the text, R and S, and this mix occurs nowhere else in the
Pavier quartos. It strains credulity to imagine that Jaggard held back a stack of
this precise mixture until the end of the play so that its watermarks would match
those at the beginning of the text. It is also possible that the final gathering of YT
was also printed first, following Per gathering Y, which appears on the same and
newly introduced mark 6.1. Since YT is by far the shortest of the Pavier quartos,
at only three and a half text sheets, such a procedure would have guaranteed that
the "Heb ddieu" device would be ready in plenty of time for setting the title page
of MV, the next play to be printed. Whatever the precise order of sheets through
the press, the evidence for concurrent printing of these three plays is strong.

Neidig placed the printing of MWW after MV because its title page uses the
line "Written by W. Shakespeare." with the "Heb ddieu" device and because
three other titles using that specific attribution had already been printed.[44] I am
inclined to agree, though evidence of the paper stocks offers nothing definitive.
Gathering A of MWW is printed mostly on No. 3, the only gathering in which it


Page 177
predominates,[45] though one copy has No. 8 and another No. 6.1, the marks found
in the final gathering of MV. So there is at least a tenuous link between the end of
MV and the beginning of MWW. If the order MV > MWW is correct, however,
there is small anomaly. MV is the first of the Pavier quartos to bear a false date,
and it seem peculiar that, having decided that subterfuge was necessary, Pavier
and Jaggard would have reverted to the actual date of 1619 for MWW before then
falsely dating the four remaining titles. It is at least possible that the first gather-
ing or two of MWW had been printed off before work began on MV, which was
completed before work resumed on MWW. The suggestion has at least tenuous
support since gathering B of MWW and gathering A of MV share a similar mixed
stock of predominant 2 with an small admixture of 1\14, though MV also has a
bit of 7.1 not present in MWW.

The printing of MND has proved the most difficult to place in the sequence
because it alone among the post-Contention plays does not use the "Heb ddieu"
device on its title page. Neidig thus assumed that for some reason it was printed
independently. Peter Blayney, however, has provisionally suggested that, on the
basis of Greg's distribution charts, MND was most likely to have been printed be-
tween MWW and Lear. [46] My own fuller sample essentially corroborates Blayney,
though I believe it more likely that MWW and MND were printed concurrently.
MND may actually have been begun either slightly before or simultaneously with
MWW, since its first gathering is printed predominantly on No. 6.1, the primary
stock for the penultimate gathering of MV. This would explain the use of a second
publisher's device for the MWW title page, since the "Heb ddieu" would have
been unavailable. Though the stocks for both MMW and MND are quite miscel-
laneous both between and within gatherings, the central gatherings of both plays
share several similarities. The related pairs 24\27.1 and 24\27.2 appear only in
MWW gatherings C, D, and F and MND gatherings C and F,[47] and No. 5 appears
in several gatherings of both, notably in MWW gathering E and MND gathering
D, which are both printed exclusively (or nearly so) on this paper.

The order of the final three titles is essentially uncomplicated, though there
are again some anomalies. It is for example somewhat curious that Lear, the next
play in the sequence, has its first two gatherings printed on the mixture of Nos. 2
and 1\14, which had appeared as early as Per gathering V, then in YTgatherings
A, B, C, MV gathering A, and MWW gathering B. While the reappearance of
a particular mix later in the overall printing sequence may be a random occur-
rence, it is at possible that the first few gatherings of Lear were set and printed
off shortly after MWW gathering B, as soon as the "Heb ddieu" device became
available, and that MWW and MND were then finished off before work resumed
on Lear. This procedure would further explain the use of a second device for
the MND title page. Such a complex matrix in which three titles were simulta-
neously in production would not seem an impossible strain on an experienced
printing house, and may have been a useful expedient in maintaining a balance


Page 178
between composition and presswork. The succeeding play, Henry 5, was begun
while Lear was still in press, probably between the printing of gatherings F and H
of the latter. It is possible to designate the moment rather precisely since the first
gathering of H5 is printed exclusively on stocks 12\19.1 and 12\19.2, the precise
and exclusive mix of Lear H and F, and this particular stock is found nowhere
else in the Pavier quartos. H5 and Lear are also the only plays with significant
unmarked stocks: they share 0.1; Lear also exhibits 0.2 and 0.3 and H5 has a bit
of O.4.[48] Sir John Oldcastle was the last of the Pavier quartos to be printed, largely
on the related stocks 15\16.1 and 15\16.2. One curiosity of the SJO stocks, as
noted above, is the substantial admixture of fugitive papers in otherwise largely
homogenous stocks. Ten new papers appear in its ten gatherings, most of them
in only one or two exemplars. It does seem possible that, arriving at the end of
this substantial project, Jaggard tidied up his warehouse by throwing in whatever
odd bits were lying about. But perhaps most curious is that, having done so, the
final gathering of the Pavier quartos is printed exclusively on stock No. 5, a paper
that appears in several previous gatherings and had not appeared unmixed since
MWW gathering E. It is worth noting that the final gathering of MND also ap-
pears on an unmixed stock, No. 2, and the final gathering of MV is nearly so.

While I have not undertaken a comprehensive survey of the paper stocks that
passed through Jaggard's printing house in and around 1619, a few observations
may be made to contextualize the production of the Pavier quartos. Two titles
in particular seem to have been printed at much the same time as these quartos.
The anonymous Troubles in Bohemia, and diuers other Kingdomes. Procured by the diuel-
lish practises of state-medling Iesuites
(1619; STC 3213) is a six-gathering quarto that
is printed mostly on stock 23, with one sheet of #2, the same mix that is found
in the first few gatherings of Per. This indicates that the matrix of concurrent
printing that clearly took place with the Pavier quartos may have encompassed
non-related titles as well. Similarly, The second part of the booke of Christian exercise,
appertaining vnto resolution
(1619; STC 19388), a 12o, has eighteen of its twenty-one
gatherings printed on stock #5, a paper that appears largely or wholly unmixed
in MWW E, MND D, and SJO K. The likelihood, then, is that this twelemo was
printed sometime in the mid-to-late stages of the Pavier quarto project. A third
possible and intriguing connection with the Pavier quarto paper stocks might be
made to John Selden's The Historie of Tithes, which saw four editions reach print
in 1618, if their title pages are to be believed (STC 22172, STC 22172.3, STC
22172.5, STC 22172.7). I quote, with some omissions, David Gants's account of
the difficulties surrounding the publication of this controversial work:

This book was originally produced in [William] Stansby's house, but sometime during
Christmas 1617 the Bishop of London raided the establishment, confiscated the paper and
type being used to print it, and shut down the business for a time…. When the work
appeared the next year (with a long preface refuting the objections raised by others and
some modifications to the text itself), the only identifying features on the title page were
its author and the publication date. The printer even went so far as to explicitly distance
himself from the text with a short "Printer to the Reader" coda…. Stansby's unfortunate
experience, along with the fear that further trouble might attend this book, apparently


Page 179
prompted the printer of these volumes to stay as far away as possible from this debate….
There is also reason to believe that at least one of the four editions was printed after 1618,
although confirmation of this supposition awaits further investigation.[49]

If it was not Stansby who, defying the authorities, printed these editions of The
Historie of Tithes,
might it have been William Jaggard? In the Folger copy 1 of the
first of these editions I found four of the Pavier quarto papers—numbers 4.3, 5,
1O\11, and 26, with the mixture of 4.3, 10\11, and 26 occurring in a substan-
tial run from gathering D to 2T (with an occasional admixture of other stocks).
Overall, thirty-six of its sixty-seven folio gatherings were printed on Pavier quarto
papers. Of course the same paper stocks can and do appear in the products of
more than one printer; but the conjunction of four identical stocks is at least
suggestive. The detective who wants to pursue this further investigation, should,
as W. W. Greg did a century ago, follow the paper trail, armed (as Greg was not)
with a clear, flexible, plastic ruler with a millimeter scale.


The appendixes present the paper data in several forms. Appendix 1 offers "sequence
tables" for each of the plays and is organized by copy and gathering so that both the sequence
of papers for any given copy and the variety of papers that appear in a given gathering of copies
examined can be readily seen. Appendix 2 summarizes play-by-play the data from the sequence
tables to show the total exemplars of each watermark that appear in a given copy and the total
occurrences of that mark in all examined copies for each play. Finally, appendix 3, a summary
table of watermarks in all plays, is organized by watermark and play so that the presence and
distribution of all watermarks observed in the Pavier quartos can be seen at a glance.


Peter W. M. Blayney, "'Compositor B' and the Pavier Quartos," The Library 5th ser.
27.3 (Sept. 1972): 181–206; esp. pp. 197–198. The only major exception is Sir John Oldcastle,
which uses a single skeleton throughout.


Blayney had noted that "It is possible that the shorter YT might have been printed
concurrently with PER or during an interruption …" (p. 196).


"The Shakespeare Quartos of 1619," Modern Philology 8 (1910): 145–163.


Neidig, "Shakespeare Quartos," p. 156, n.1.


There is no doubt that this particular combination of attribution and device had been
left standing during the printing of Per, YT, MV, and MWW. I printed off Neidig's photographs
of these four pages and, using the "poor-person's collator," superimposed the pages in every pos-
sible combination while holding them up to the sunlight. The setting in each case is the same.


There are a few scattered sightings of this mark in C and D of MWW and A of MND.


Blayney, "'Compositor B,'" p. 197.


The sole exception is sheet C of the Newberry copy of Lear, which has one of the
24\27.1 pair.


There are single examples of fugitive unmarked papers in MWW sheet G and MND
sheet B.


David L. Gants, "A Quantitative Analysis of the London Book Trade 1614–1618,"
Studies in Bibliography 55 (2002): 195, n. e.


1. Sequence Tables: Watermarks by Gathering in the Plays

Table 1.1 The Whole Contention (n.d.)

Copy  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
C2   23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
L(1)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
Y2  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
BL(2)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(1)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(2)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(3)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(4)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(5)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(6)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(7)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(13)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(14)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
F(15)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
HD  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
HN  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
ILL  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
NY(1)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
NY(2)  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
L18   23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 
E2   23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23  23 

NOTES. Collates A-Q4. Distinctly and distinctively homogenous, twenty-three copies with
every gathering of every copy on stock 23.


Page 180

Table 1.2. Pericles (1619)

tp  2A  2B 
C2  23  23  6.1  1\14 
23  1\14  7.1  6.1  1\14  23 
23  7.1  6.1  1\14  23 
Y2  7.1  6.1  1\14 
F(1)  23  1\14  23  6.1  1\14 
F(2)  23  7.1  23  6.1  23 
F(3)  23  7.1  6.1  1\14 
F(8)  23  7.1  6.1  1\14 
F(9)  23  23  7.1  6.1  1\14  23 
F(10)  23  7.1  6.1  1\14 
F(11)  --  23  7.1  23  1\14  23 
F(12)  --  23  7.1  23  1\14 
HD  23  23  7.1  6.1  1\14  23 
7.1  6.1  6.1  -- 
NY(1)  7.1  6.1 
NY(2)  23  23  7.1  6.1  1\14  23 
7.1  6.1  1\14 
HN  23  7.1  6.1  1\14 
L18   23  23  7.1  6.1 
23  7.1  23  1\14 
E2   6.1  23  7.1  6.1  1\14  -- 

NOTES. This quarto has signatures continuous with The Whole Contention and collates X1 [=2B2]
R-2A4 2B2(-2B2). Greg had queried his identifications of gathering 2A in the C2 (Capell) and
O (Malone) copies, the former as mark 1, the latter as mark 14; chainlines show that both
were actually Greg's 1. (See above for his understandable confusion over this pair.) Greg was
unable to identify the mark in 2B of the C2 (Capell), O (Malone), and Y2 (Huth) copies. Since
2B was printed as a half-sheet with the title-page, approximately one-half of the copies show no
watermark in this leaf. (Greg must have realized this since he did not identify 2B in these copies
as unwatermarked.) Chainlines allow positive identification in all but one case, F(12). The F(10)
copy was apparently made up, since different papers appear in the title-page and 2B.

Table 1.3. Yorkshire Tragedy (1619)

C2  1\14  1\14 
L(1)  6.1  6.1 
6.1  6.1 
Y2  1\14  1\14  1\14 
L(2)  6.1  1\14  6.1 
L(3)  6.1  6.1 
F(1)  6.1  6.1  6.1 
F(2)  6.1  23  1\14  6.1 
F(3)  23  23  1\14  23 
F(4)  23  23  1\14  23 
F(5)  6.1  1\14  6.1 
F(6)  41  1\14  41 
HD  6.1  6.1 
--  1\14  1\14  6.1 
NY  6.1  1\14  6.1 
1\14  1\14 
HN  6.1  1\14  1\14  6.1 
L18  6.1  23  1\14  6.1 
E2  6.1  1\14  6.1 

NOTES. This quarto collates:π1 [=D4] A-C4 D4 (-D4). I have seen the blank D3 in only a
single copy, F(1). Greg had been unable to identify the mark in C2 (Capell) gathering D and
had queried, though correctly identified, the mark in L(1) (Garrick) gathering D.


Page 181

Table 1.4. Merchant of Venice (1600)

C2  6.1  1\14  1\14  6.1  6.1  1\14  1\14 
L(1)  7.1  1\14  1\14  6.1 
15\16.2  7.1  1\14  6.1  1\14  6.1 
Y2  15\16.2  7.1  1\14  6.1  1\14  6.1 
L(2)  7.1  6.1  7.1  6.1  6.1  1\14  6.1 
F(1)  1\14  6.1  7.1  6.1  6.1  1\14  6.1  6.1 
F(2)  6.1  7.1  6.1  6.1  1\14  6.1 
F(3)  6.1  6.1  6.1  6.1  1\14  1\14 
F(4)  6.1  7.1  6.1  6.1  1\14  6.1 
HD  6.1  1\14  1\14  4.1  1\14  1\14 
NY  7.1  6.1  7.1  6.1  6.1  1\14  6.1 
ILL  7.1  6.1  6.1  1\14  6.1 
7.1  1\14  6.1  1\14  1\14 
HN  6.1  7.1  6.1  6.1  7.2  6.1 
E2  6.1  --  6.1  --  1\14  6.1  6.1 

NOTES. Collates A-K4. Greg must have erred in recording the marks for gatherings A and B
of the L(1) (Garrick) copy, both of which he identifies as mark 1; the rest of the marks for
this copy match perfectly my own observation. Greg had also queried his identifications for
gatherings E and K of this copy; both are correct. For gathering B of the O (Malone) and
Y2 (Huth) copy Greg failed to recognize that there was a second pair of ARMS: RG marks,
identifying them instead as his mark 18, which unlike the two 15\16 pairs is centered be-
tween rather than on chainlines.

Table 1.5. Merry Wives of Windsor (1619)

C2  4.1  4.1  6.2  4.1 
L(1)  1\14  7.2  4.1 
Y2  4.1  4.1 
L(2)  6.1  24\27.2 
F(1)  35  36 
F(2)  1\14  7.4  24\27.2 
F(3)  1\14  4.1  24\27.2  23 
F(4)  7.2 
F(5)  4.2  24\27.2  0.? 
F(6)  4.3  4.1  24\27.2  4.1 
F(7)  7.2 
F(8)  24\27.2  4.1  -- 
HD  24\27.2  4.1  4.1 
--  --  7.2 
NY(1)  4.1  4.1  24\27.2  4.1 
NY(2)  7.2 
ILL  24\27.2  4.1  1\14  4.1 
4.2  4.3 
HN  24\27.2 
L18  7.2  4.1 
4.4  4.2  6.2  4.1 

NOTES. Collates A-G4. Greg had queried his identification of mark 4 in L(1) (Garrick) gather-
ing D; he was correct. Gathering C has examples of all four pairs of Greg's single mark 4,
and gathering D has three of the four. The unmarked paper in F(5) gathering G is another of
the fugitives, the only example I encountered.


Page 182

Table 1.6. A Midsummer Night's Dream (1600)

C2  6.1  7.2 
L(1)  7.2  1\14  24\27.1  6.1 
6.1  0.?  24\27.1  7.4 
6.1  4?  6.1 
L(2)  6.1  1\14  4.1  6.1 
F(1)  6.1 
F(2)  7.2  24\27.1  29  6.1 
F(4)  7.2  1\14  24\27.1  6.1 
F(5)  6.1  23  24\27.1  28  6.1 
F(6)  6.1  7.3  7.2  6.1 
F(7)  6.1  6.1 
HD  6.1  1\14  29  6.1 
NY  6.1 
ILL  24\27.2  29  6.1 
HN  6.1  7.2  24\27.1 
Y2  24\27.1  29  6.1 
E2  7.3  --  7.2 

NOTES. Collates A-H4. I have included the Huth copy examined by Greg in its usual position
fourth in the list, but designated it H instead of Y2 and reported Greg's assessment of it. All
other Y2 (Elizabethan Club) copies appear to be the Huth copies, but the Y2 MND does not
match Greg's sequence, nor does any other copy I have examined. The paper at O gathering
B is one of five fugitive unmarked papers which I have met with only once.

Table 1.7. King Lear (1608)

C2   1\14  6.1  10\11  10\11  12\19.1  0.3  12\19.1  0.1  13  0.1 
L(1)  25  10\11  10\11  12\19.1  0.3  12\19.1  20.1  13  0.? 
1\14  10\11  26  12\19.2  0.3  12\19.1  21  0.1  21 
Y2   7.2  10\11  0.2  12\19.2  0.3  12\19.1  0.1  13  21 
L(2)  1\14  1\14  1\14  6.1  26  12\19.2  0.3  12\19.1  20.1  13  0.1 
L(3)  1\14  6.1  10\11  25  12\19.2  33  12\19.2  0.1  13  0.1 
F1  1\14  6.1  10\11  10\11  12\19.1  33  12\19.2  0.1  13  0.1 
F2  0.2  0.2  12\19.2  0.?  12\19.1  21  13  21 
F3  1\14  1\14  13  25  12\19.2  33  12\19.1  20.1  13  21 
F4  1\14  6.1  13  13  26  12\19.2  26  12\19.1  0.1  21  0.1 
F5  1\14  1\14  10\11  13  12\19.1  26  12\19.1  20.1  13  20.1 
F6  25  10\11  10\11  12\19.1  0.3  12\19.2  20.1  13  21 
HD  1\14  25  10\11  26  12\19.2  0.3  12\19.1  20.1  21  0.1 
NY  25  6.1  10\11  12\19.1  0.3  12\19.2  20.1  13  20.1 
ILL  1\14  13  6.1  13  12\19.2  0?  12\19.2  20.1  0.?  0.1 
1\14  24\27.1  10\11  25  12\19.1  33  12\19.2  20.1  21  21 
HN  1\14  1\14  6.1  13  12\19.2  0.3  12\19.1  20.1  13  20.1 
1\14  1\14  25  12\19.2  33  12\19.1  0.1  13  21 
E2   1\14  25  10\11  10\11  12\19.2  33  12\19.1  20.1  13  -- 

NOTES. Collates A-L4. The queried unwatermarked sheets, designated "0.?", cover two situ-
ations: for F(2) gathering G and ILL gatherings G and K the chainlines were too faint to
measure; L(1) gathering L is a fugitive unmarked paper, one for which I have found no other


Page 183

Table 1.8. Henry V (1608)

C2   12\19.1  20.2  21  22  0.4  15\16.1  0.1 
L(1)  12\19.1  22  15\16.1  15\16.1  0.1 
12\19.2  20.2  21  0.?  15\16.1  0.4 
Y2   12\19.1  20.2  0.1  22  0.4  15\16.1  0.1 
L(2)  12\19.1  20.2  21  22  0.4  15\16.1  21 
F(1)  12\19.1  20.2  20.2  22  15\16.1  0.4  15\16.1 
F(2)  12\19.1  20.2  22  38  15\16.1  0.1 
F(3)  12\19.1  0.1  22  39  0.4  0.1 
F(4)  12\19.1  22  32  21  0.1 
F(5)  12\19.1  20.2  20.2  22  15\16.1  0.4  15\16.1 
F(6)  12\19.1  21  15\16.1  18  -- 
F(7)  12\19.1  20.2  21  22  0.4  0.4  15\16.1 
HD  12\19.1  22  0.1  15\16.1  15\16.1 
NY  12\19.1  21  15\16.1  18  0.1 
12\19.1  20.2  22  21  15\16.1  15\16.1 
HN  12\19.2  20.2  0.1  0.1  0.4  43.2  0.1 
L18  12\19.1  20.2  21  43.2  15\16.1  0.1 
12\19.1  0.1  22  39  21  0.? 
E2   12\19.1  22  15\16.1  15\16.1  0.1 

NOTES. Collates A-G4. In the O (Malone) copy Greg had questioned his identification of his
mark 20 in gathering B; he was correct, though he didn't know that there were two sets of
mark 20. He offered only a query for O gathering E. It is one of the fugitive unmarked pa-
pers, as is that in copy E gathering G: I have found no other examples of either.

Table 1.9. Sir John Oldcastle (1600)

C2   15\16.1  15\16.1  17  18  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1 
L(1)  15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1 
15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1 
Y2   15\16.1  17  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  31  15\16.2  15\16.1 
L(2)  15\16.1  17  17  31  17  15\16.1  31  15\16.1  37 
F(1)  15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.2  15\16.1  15\16.1  31  15\16.2  43.1 
F(2)  44  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  31  15\16.1  15\16.1 
F(3)  15\16.1  15\16.1  17  18  15\16.1  15\16.2  15\16.1  15\16.1 
F(4)  15\16.1  15\16.1  30  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  31  15\16.1  15\16.2 
F(5)  15\16.1  17  17  15\16.1  15\16.2  15\16.1  31  45  15\16.1 
F(6)  15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  31  15\16.1  15\16.1 
F(7)  15\16.1  15\16.1  17  18  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.2 
HD  15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1 
15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.2  15\16.1  15\16.1 
NY  15\16.1  15\16.1  42  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1 
N(1)  15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.2  15\16.1  15\16.1  31  15\16.1  43.1 
N(2)  15\16.1  17  17  31  17  15\16.1  31  15\16.1  37? 
HN  15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  18  46  31  15\16.1  34 
L18(1)  44  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1 
L18(2)  15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  34 
15\16.1  15\16.1  17  15\16.1  15\16.1  15\16.1  40  15\16.1  15\16.1 

NOTES. Collates A-K4. Greg identified gathering G in the Huth copy as mark 21, which looks
to me like a cap with a TV antennae on top; if Y2 is indeed the Huth copy, this is an error
since the mark is my 31, a POT surmounted with a pyramid of martini olives. I have found
Greg 21 in no copy of Oldcastle. My identification of N(2) gathering I as mark 37 is tentative
since I have only fragmentary drawings of this mark and its possible twin in the same gather-
ing of L(2).


Page 184

2. Summary Tables: Watermarks in Individual Plays

Table 2.1. The Whole Contention;
16 edition sheets, 23 copies

Watermark  23  Totals 
C2   16  16 
L(1)  16  16 
16  16 
Y2   16  16 
BL(2)  16  16 
F(1)  16  16 
F(2)  16  16 
F(3)  16  16 
F(4)  16  16 
F(5)  16  16 
F(6)  16  16 
F(7)  16  16 
F(13)  16  16 
F(14)  16  16 
F(15)  16  16 
HD  16  16 
HN  16  16 
ILL  16  16 
NY(1)  16  16 
NYP(2)  16  16 
L18   16  16 
16  16 
E2   16  16 
Totals  368  368 

Table 2.2. Pericles; 9 edition sheets, 21 copies

Watermarks  1\14  6.1  7.1  23  Totals 
F(10)  10 

Table 2.2 (Continued)


Page 185
Watermarks  1\14  6.1  7.1  23  Totals 
Totals  19  102  20  19  29  189 

NOTE. For copy F(10) the total is greater than the number of edition sheets because this copy
was apparently made up, with the title page and 2B1, originally printed together as a half-
sheet, appearing on different papers.

Table 2.3. Yorkshire Tragedy; 4 edition sheets, 19 copies

Watermarks  1\14  6.1  23  41  Totals 
Totals  20  35  14  76 

Table 2.4. Merchant of Venice; 10 edition sheets, 15 copies

Watermarks  1\14  4.1  6.1  7.1  7.2  15\16.2  totals 
C2   10 
L(1)  10 
Y2   10 
L(2)  10 
F(1)  10 
F(2)  10 
F(3)  10 
F(4)  10 
HD  10 
NY  10 
ILL  10 
HN  10 
Totals  27  36  46  13  13  148 

NOTE. Copy E2 totals less than ten because gatherings C and G are in facsimile.


Page 186

Table 2.5. Merry Wives of Windsor; 7 edition sheets, 22 copies

Watermarks  0.?  1\14  4.1  4.2  4.3  4.4  6.1  6.2  7.2  7.4  23  24\27.2  35  36  Totals 
Totals  26  25  19  44  10  151 

NOTE. The totals for F(8) and Y are less than seven because the former is lacking F, the latter has the first two gatherings in facsimile.


Page 187

Table 2.6. A Midsummer Night's Dream; 8 edition sheets, 19 copies

Watermarks  0.?  1\14  4.1  6.1  7.2  7.3  7.4  23  24\27.1  24\27.2  28  29  Totals 
Totals  51  36  22  151 

NOTE. I have excluded the Huth copy because, as noted above, I have not seen it. The total for copy E2 is seven because gathering D is in


Page 188

Table 2.7. King Lear; 11 edition sheets, 19 copies

Watermarks  0.?  0.1  0.2  0.3  1\14  6.1  7.2  1O\11  12\l9.1  12\19.2  13  20.1  21  24\27.1  25  26  33  Totals 
C2   11 
L(1)  11 
Y2   11 
L(2)  11 
L(3)  11 
F(1)  11 
F(2)  11 
F(3)  11 
F(4)  11 
F(5)  11 
F(6)  11 
HD  11 
NY  11 
ILL  11 
HN  11 
E2   10 
Totals  14  20  25  17  20  18  21  14  12  208 

NOTE. The final gathering of E2 is in facsimile.


Page 189

Table 2.8. Henry V; 7 edition sheets, 19 copies

Watermarks  0.?  0.1  0.4  12\19.1  12\19.2  15\16.1  18  20.2  21  22  32  38  39  43.2  Totals 
Totals  16  10  19  16  21  13  11  14  132 

NOTE. The final gathering of copy F(6) is heavily restored and chainlines are obscured.


Page 190

Table 2.9. Sir John Oldcastle; 10 edition sheets, 21 copies

Watermarks  15\16.1  15\16.2  17  18  30  31  34  37  40  42  43.1  44  45  46  Totals 
C2   10 
L(1)  10 
Y2   10 
L(2)  10 
F(1)  10 
F(2)  10 
F(3)  10 
F(4)  10 
F(5)  10 
F(6)  10 
F(7)  10 
HD  10 
NY  10 
N(1)  10 
N(2)  10 
HN  10 
L18(1)  10 
L18(2)  10 
Totals  31  116  25  12  210 


Page 191

3. Summary Table: Watermarks in All Plays

Play  Cont.   Per   YT   MV   MWW   MND   Lear   H5   SJO   Totals 
0.1  14  16  30 
0.4  10  10 
1\14  19  20  27  20  94 
102  35  36  26  51  25  275 
25  30 
4.1  19  21 
55  36  19  31  141 
6.1  20  14  46  22  111 
7.1  19  13  32 
7.2  16 
13  15 
10\11  17  17 
12\19.1  20  16  36 
12\19.2  18  22 
13  21  21 
15\16.1  21  116  127 
17  25  25 
20.1  14  14 
20.2  13  13 
21  12  11  23 
22  14  14 
23  368  29  405 
24\27.2  10  11 
31  12  12 
40  1


Page 192

Table: (Continued)

Play  Cont.   Per   YT   MV   MWW   MND   Lear   H5   SJO   Totals 
Totals  368  189  76  148  162  151  208  132  209  1643 

4. Copies Examined

Library symbols

I have chosen to identify the copies using STC library symbols simply for their
brevity. To facilitate comparison with Greg's chart the first four copies listed for
each title are those examined by Greg, who used the following symbols: "C =
Capell copy at Trinity Cambridge; G = Garrick copy at the British Museum
[now British Library]; M = Malone copy at the Bodleian; H = the copy in pos-
session of Mr. Huth [now at the Elizabethan Club]."

C2   Trinity Cambridge 
British Library 
Y2   Elizabethan Club, Yale 
Folger Shakespeare Library 
HD  Houghton Library, Harvard 
Beinecke Library, Yale 
NY  New York Public Library 
ILL  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
Newberry Library 
HN  Huntington Library 
L18   Victoria and Albert Museum 
National Library of Scotland 
E2   Edinburgh University Library 

In cases where a library holds more than one copy of a title, I have added a par-
enthetical number following the library code: i.e. F(1), F(2), F(3), etc.


Page 193

Copies by title

The Whole Contention (Cont)

Copy  Shelfmark 
C2   Capell Q.12.4 
L(1)  C.34.k.38.(1) 
Arch. G d.39(5) 
Y2   Eliz. Club 200 
L(2)  C.12.h.6 
F(1)  STC 26101, Copy 1 
F(2)  STC 26101, Copy 2 
F(3)  STC 26101, Copy 3 
F(4)  STC 26101, Copy 4 
F(5)  STC 26101, Copy 5 
F(6)  STC 26101, Copy 6 
F(7)  STC 26101, Copy 7 
F(13)  STC 26101, Copy 13 
F(14)  STC 26101, Copy 14 
F(15)  STC 26101, Copy 15 
HD  HEW 6.9.34 
HN  79883 
ILL  X 822.33 W51619 
NY(1)  *KC 1619, Copy 1 
NYP(2)  *KC 1619, Copy 2 
L18   Dyce 26 Box 42/5 
E2   JA3737 

Pericles (Per)

Copy  Shelfmark 
C2   Capell Q.12.3 
Arch. G d.41(6) 
Y2   Eliz. Club 189 
F(1)  STC 26101, Copy 1 
F(2)  STC 26101, Copy 2 
F(3)  STC 26101, Copy 3 
F(8)  STC 26101, Copy 8 
F(9)  STC 26101, Copy 9 
F(10)  STC 26101, Copy 10 
F(11)  STC 26101, Copy 11 
F(12)  STC 26101, Copy 12 
HD  14308.125.20* 
1977 2546 
NY(1)  *KC 1619, Copy 1 
NY(2)  *KC 1619, Copy 2 
CASE 3A 897 
HN  69347 
L18  Dyce 26 Box 42/5 
E2  JA3707 

Yorkshire Tragedy (YT)

Copy  Shelfmark 
C2   Capell Q.11.1 
L(1)  C.34.l.6 
Arch. G d.42(7) 
Y2  Eliz. Club 207 
L(2)  C.12.g.26 
L(3)  C.12.g.17 
F(1)  STC 22341, Copy 1 
F(2)  STC 22341, Copy 2 
F(3)  STC 22341, Copy 3 
F(4)  STC 22341, Copy 4 
F(5)  STC 22341, Copy 5 
F(6)  STC 22341, Copy 6 
HD  13408.280.5* 
1977 2701 
NY  *KC 1619 
CASE 3A 897 
HN  69373 
L18  Dyce 26 Box 43/5 
E2  JA3712 

Merchant of Venice (MV)

Copy  Shelfmark 
C2   Capell Q.11.5 
L(1)  C.34.k.23 
Arch. G d.42(2) 
Y2  Eliz. Club 181 
L(2)  C.12.g.31 
F(1)  STC 22297, Copy 1 
F(2)  STC 22297, Copy 2 
F(3)  STC 22297, Copy 3 
F(4)  STC 22297, Copy 4 
HD  13408.116.5* 
NY  *KC 1619 
ILL  X 822.33 P31619 
CASE 3A 895 
HN  59555 
E2  JA3725 


Page 194

Merry Wives of Windsor (MWW)

Copy  Shelfmark 
C2   Capell Q.11.2 
L(1)  C.34.k.27 
Arch. G d.42 (4) 
Y2  Eliz. Club 182 
L(2)  C.12.g.24 
F(1)  STC 22300, Copy 1 
F(2)  STC 22300, Copy 2 
F(3)  STC 22300, Copy 3 
F(4)  STC 22300, Copy 4 
F(5)  STC 22300, Copy 5 
F(6)  STC 22300, Copy 6 
F(7)  STC 22300, Copy 7 
F(8)  STC 22300, Copy 8 
HD  13408.118.5* 
1977 2353 
NY(1)  *KC 1619, Copy 1 
NY(2)  *KC 1619, Copy 2 
ILL  X 822.33 P51619 
CASE 4A 956 
HN  69332 
L18  Dyce 26 Box 42/1 

A Midsummer Night's Dream (MW)

Copy  Shelfmark 
C2   Capell Q.11.3 
L(1)  C.34.k.30 
Arch. G d.42(1) 
Y2  Eliz. Club 184 
L(2)  C.12.g.30 
F(1)  STC 22303, Copy 1 
F(2)  STC 22303, Copy 2 
F(3)  STC 22303, Copy 3 
F(4)  STC 22303, Copy 4 
F(5)  STC 22303, Copy 5 
F(6)  STC 22303, Copy 6 
F(7)  STC 22303, Copy 7 
HD  13408.120.5* 
NY  *KC 1619 
ILL  X 822.33 P71619 
CASE 3A 894 
HN  69335 
E2  JA3710 

King Lear (KL)

Copy  Shelfmark 
C2   Capell Q.11.4 
L(1)  C.34.k.19 
Arch. G d.42(5) 
Y2  Eliz. Club 177 
L(2)  C.34.k.20 
L(3)  C.12.g.27 
F(1)  STC 22293, Copy 1 
F(2)  STC 22293, Copy 2 
F(3)  STC 22293, Copy 3 
F(4)  STC 22293, Copy 4 
F(5)  STC 22293, Copy 5 
F(6)  STC 22293, Copy 6 
HD  13408.110.5* 
NY  *KC 1619 
ILL  X 822.33 T31619 
CASE 3A 896 
HN  69325 
E2  JA3729 

Henry V (H5)

Copy  Shelfmark 
C2   Capell Q.12.2 
L(1)  C.34.k.14 
Arch. G d.39(4) 
Y2  Eliz. Club 176 
L(2)  C.12.g.33 
F(1)  STC 22291, Copy 1 
F(2)  STC 22291, Copy 2 
F(3)  STC 22291, Copy 3 
F(4)  STC 22291, Copy 4 
F(5)  STC 22291, Copy 5 
F(6)  STC 22291, Copy 6 
F(7)  STC 22291, Copy 7 
HD  13408.106.10* 
NY  *KC 1619 
CASE Y S725.607 
HN  69323 
L18  Dyce 26 Box 41/3 
E2  JA3716 


Page 195

Sir John Oldcastle (SJO)

Copy  Shelfmark 
C2   Capell Q.12.1 
L(1)  C.34.l.1 
Mal. 222(4) 
Y2  Eliz. Club 204 
L(2)  C.12.g.23 
F(1)  STC 18796, Copy 1 
F(2)  STC 18796, Copy 2 
F(3)  STC 18796, Copy 3 
F(4)  STC 18796, Copy 4 
F(5)  STC 18796, Copy 5 
F(6)  STC 18796, Copy 6 
F(7)  STC 18796, Copy 7 
HD  13408.260.10* 
1977 2622 
NY  *KC 1619 
N(1)  CASE 4A 956 
N(2)  CASE Y 5887.6 
HN  62783 
L18(1)  Dyce 26 Box 43/2 
L18(2)  Dyce 26 Box 43/3 

NOTE. Unlike the other Elizabethan Club copies, Y2 of SJO appears not to be the copy Greg
examined from Mr. Huth's collection.


Page 196

I gratefully acknowledge the generous fellowship support provided by the Folger Shake-
speare Library, the Bibliographical Society, and the Bibliographical Society of America, which
permitted the delightful wanderings which were necessary to carry out the research for this
essay. Though my debts are too numerous to mention individually, I would also like to thank
the staffs of the many archives I have consulted, who have been consistently cooperative and
helpful. I must, however, single out Elizabeth Walsh and the staff of the Folger Reading Room
for their invariably intelligent and cheerful assistance in my research. And finally, I express
my deep appreciation to the Council of the Bibliographical Society and its Hon. Secretary
Dr. Margaret Ford for granting permission to reproduce W. W. Greg's watermark drawings
from The Library.


Walter W. Greg, "On Certain False Dates in Shakespearian Quartos," The Library n.s. 9
(1908): 113–131, 381–409. The plays, two of them Shakespearian apocrypha, with their title-
page dates are: The Whole Contention betweene the two Famous Houses, Lancaster and York (undated;
a variant version of parts 2 and 3 of Henry VI with the two parts separately titled The first part
of the Contention
[A2r] and The second Part. Containing the Tragedie of Richard Duke of Yorke [I1 r]);
Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1619) [these first three titles have continuous signatures and thus a single
STC number, 26101]; A Yorkshire Tragedie (1619; STC 22341); The Merchant of Venice (1600; STC
22297); The Merry Wives of Windsor (1619; STC 22300); A Midsommer nights dreame (1600; STC
22303); King Lear (1608; STC 22293); Henry the fift (1608; STC 22291); Sir John Old-castle (1600;
STC 18796). I have listed the plays in the order in which I believe they were printed, but as I will
argue below, throughout the project two or even three titles were being printed concurrendy.


Device number 283 in Ronald B. McKerrow, Printers' and Publishers' Devices in England
and Scotland 1485–1640
(London: Bibliographical Society, 1949), p. 110. According to McKer-
row the device had originally belonged to Richard Jones and was first used on the title page of
Nashe's Pierce Penilesse (1592; STC 18371), printed by Charlewood for Jones, and then "Passed
to William Jaggard in or before 1615." The MND title-page bears McKerrow's device 136, with
the motto "Post Tenebras Lux," also obtained by Jaggard from Jones (p. 48).


The usual explanation for the subterfuge is that the King's Men were already in the
early stages of planning for what would become the Shakespeare First Folio and, when they got
wind of a potentially competing collection, took steps to protect their own project. Pavier and
Jaggard responded not by abandoning their venture, but by disguising several of the quartos,
issuing them with title pages bearing the dates of earlier editions, and passing them off as old,
unsold stock. See Andrew Murphy, Shakespeare in Print: A History and Chronology of Shakespeare
(Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003), pp. 36–41.


Allan H. Stevenson, "Watermarks are Twins," Studies in Bibliography 4 (1951–52): 57–91.
Paul Needham, "Allan H. Stevenson and the Bibliographical Uses of Paper," Studies in Bibliog-
47 (1994): 23–64 (p. 29).


Allan H. Stevenson, "Paper as Bibliographical Evidence," The Library 5th ser. 17.3
(Sept. 1962): 197–212 (p. 203).


Stevenson, "Twins," p. 68.


Stevenson, "Twins," p. 80.


Stevenson, "Twins," p. 80.


Allan H. Stevenson, "Shakespearian Dated Watermarks," Studies in Bibliography 4
(1951–52): 159–164 (P. 159).


Stevenson, "Shakespearian Dated Watermarks," p. 159.


Stevenson, "Shakespearian Dated Watermarks," p. 163.


Stevenson, "Shakespearian Dated Watermarks," p. 163; p. 163, n. 17.


Needham, "Allan H. Stevenson and the Bibliographical Uses of Paper," p. 38, n. 22.


More is no doubt better, and I will continue to examine additional copies of the Pavier
quartos as circumstances allow. Any additional data discovered can be conveniently added to
the electronic footnote which will be available on the web site of the Bibliographical Society of
the University of Virginia: There I will provide descrip-
tions of all the watermarks I have encountered in the Pavier quartos and will reproduce the
sequence and summary tables that appear in the appendixes below.