BACK TO DISCUSSIONS
B12. THE NEW SIGNATURE OF HORCZICKY AND THE COMPARISON OF THEM ALL. Jan B. Hurych, January 2007)
• Signature No.2.: Since our discovery of official signature of Horczicky IN 2003 (No.1., see our section B10), the second one was discovered in Prague. It was René Zandbergen who discovered it as an exlibris in one of the books owned by Horczicky. It was once the property of Clementinum, see http://www.voynich.nu/extra/img/sinapius1602a.jpg It does not however contain the word "Tepenec" as does the one in the VM, as well as the other two signature. Instead, it quotes the old name "Sinapi" .
• Signature No.3.: Quite recently, in January 2007, Petr Kazil copied another signature in the book in National Library of Prague, on recommendation by Rafal Prinke (it was known in 2000, by Rafal, but it was somehow overlooked until 2007. The photographs by Peter are at http://www.xs4all.nl/~kazil/testfiles/vu/
Our comment: The reaction to our first discovery (year 2003) was slightly negative. It happened to be on some official document signed by Horczicky when he was the heytman of Melnik castle, 1617) and it was objected that it was too "ceremonial" to be used for analysis of Horczicky's name in the VM. When the second signature was found, it was considered as "similar" to the one in the VM, without any further analysis. Now, when the third, non-ceremonial signature was found, one can see clearly it is by the same hand as the first signature. So we are now vindicated and to further prove the similarity of those two "signatures", i.e the first and the third, while the second is quite different. The following comparisons are given. Also, the comparison with "signature" in the VM is made.
THE COMPARISON OF SIGNATURES.
Both first and third signatures are in Czech, i.e .the words "Jakub z Tepence", in first case are in nominative (the official signature), and slightly modified, in the third, as "Jakuba z Tepence" (in genitive, since it is the exlibris, ownership), First we show the first signature, slightly magnified:
The third signature can be seen by clicking on the link above, here we only compare some letters in the sections. First the letter "k". The picture on the left is the third signature, at the right is the first one. The agreement in shape and form is very good. Then follows the section "Tep", notice the similarity of peculiar letter "p" in both cases.
The word in between "Jacobi" and "Tepenec" is in both cases the Czech letter "z" written in the same old fashion, looking like number "3". The meaning of "z" in Czech language is the same as in Latin "de". Even here is certain similarity. For comparison, the third picture is the same symbol from the VM, also in between words "Jacobi" and "Tepenec". It was guessed once it was really "de" or a Greek letter "delta", the shorthand for Latin "de". None of this can be seen here and it seems it is the same "z" ( meaning the sign in the space before capital "T"). Of course, we cannot be sure yet, the symbol is hardly visible.
Before we carry on, some words about the second, that is the "Sinapi" signature. There is no doubt that "Sinapi" is former Horczicky's name (before he received his title), latinized. The word "inscriptus" added may or may not confirm it was written by him personally. However, the comparison with two other signatures is very difficult and from what we see the script and the style are different as well (and there are only few letters that are the same). For that reason we will not use it here in the analysis of the VM "signature" since it does not give us enough information for comparison. Only letters "p" and "n" for comparison exist there ( in "Tepenec" and in "Sinapi") and we cannot find any tell-tale peculiarity that would give away the hand and confirm any similarity with the one in the VM.
I am using here the quotation marks around the word "signature", since we first have to prove that what was found in the VM is really the Horczicky signature written by his hand, not just his name written by somebody else. I believe that we have now enough material to compare it with the signatures No.1. and No.3. For comparison, we used color scans from Beinecke, not the old xerox copies that may be only the "copies of copies", therefore further distorted.. Also, not too much is seen at xerox copies, only the words "Jacobi" and the other one, considered as "Prag".
There is however the trace of the word "Tepenec" in the colored scan that can be enhanced by filtering in graphic editor and luckily, that word also appears in both signatures No.1 and No.3..
It is really not necessary to worry about the other parts, since the word "Tepenec" is clearly visible on enhanced Beinecke scan to be compared with above signatures. It has good outlines and shape so it is sufficient to identify similarity of the the hand that signed it. There was no other Tepenec in his time, the castle Tepenec given to him at nobilitatio was already in ruins for 200 years then and there was no bearer of that name before him.
For comparison, we present here small sample of colorgraphic filtering of the "signature" .
As I said, we studied only the area of the word "Tepenec" with proper magnification and below are the corresponding sectors of the first and the third signature, also with proper scaling.
As can be seen, we could not find any resemblance between those signatures and the one in the VM. What remains to study are the words "Jacobi" and "Prague". We did not do it since our graphic enhancement did not show them clearly enough. Apparently, they can be seen only under the ultraviolet light and we did not get any photographs of them, only some Xeroxes that were apparently not of the first generation but rather the copies of copies.
CONCLUSION: We could not confirm that the "signature" in the VM was written with the same hand that wrote the signatures No.1 and No.3 (i.e. in Horczicky's hand). Since the time this was posted, several additional points were cleared, thanks to documentation posted at http://www.voynich.us/photo.htm By Dana Scott (thanks, Dana!) . The most valuable is the clear copy of original folio picture after Voynich treatment. Now we are not sure what the colored scan shows in those places. I am now convinced that the first word is apparently "Jacobi", but neither scans or xerox shows it clearly. It is of course less important for comparison than the word "Tepenec" which identifies the only one Tepenec in history. The question still remains what is the second word (is it "z" or "de"?), since none of the pictures is clear enough. If it is "z" then the word Tepenec should be in proper Czech declination as "Tepence" (as seen in the signature no.3, otherwise it is a serious grammatical error, since it should be genitive of the word Tepenec, i.e. "Tepence"). Only foreigner would do such mistake, Horczicky would hardly make an error in his own signature and hardly any of his countrymen. If it is however "de" then there is no error, it is in good Latin - but Horczicky never signed himself in Latin form, except in the signature No.2, where of course it was a different name (Sinapi), before him getting the title.
As for Voynich's Xeroxes, only some parts of the "signature" in them can be also found in Beinecke scans since further chemical damage to the vellum, not seem on rough Xeroxes, apparently carried on in last ninety years or so. What is worse, we cannot even see the possible erasure marks. Voynich in reality never talked about the spilling some chemical on the folio, only about "underdeveloping". Photostat technique only projects the original on light sensitive paper, so no chemicals were needed to be applied at original. Later, he admitted he did some chemical treatment of the folio, probably to stabilize the now visible "signature" but with catastrophical effect. That was of course not necessary and highly unusual undertaking. . Even more problematic: we do not know how much of the spots disappeared during last century due to light effects and continuing chemical process. Neither we can now see the traces of former erasure, we cannot even tell if there was any erasure at all.
Again, we can accept the signatures of Horczicky (No.1. and No.3.) as being very similar and undoubtedly in the true hand. However, based on that, we can raise serious doubts about the claim that the "signature" in the VM was also written by Horczicky. Moreover, we cannot date the VM "signature" nor the erasure.
Comment: later, we have found the title text we received with the "signature" was also in Horczicky's hand - compare letters "p" and "k" in both samples, they are the same elaborated style.
Save this page
Print this page