The Double AA Headpiece 



The Tragedie of King Richard The Third

As it is printed in the Quarto editon of 1602



The Tragedie of Hamlet Prince of Denmark

As it is printed in the Quarto edition of 1604

First Page of the Sonnets
Dedication Page


Venus & Adonis
1594 edition

Henry Wriothesly, Earl of Southampton was a close friend of The Earl of Essex ,Anthony Bacon and Francis Bacon

Peter Dawkins comments on the AA  

"The ‘AA’ headpiece to Hugh Holland’s dedicatory poem ‘Upon the Lines and Life of the Famous Scenicke Poet, Master William Shakespeare’ prefacing the Shakespeare 1st Folio (1623). This particular version of the ‘AA’ headpiece is also used in Spenser’s Faerie Queene (1609) and in Daemonology (1603).

Many of the finest examples of English literature in the 16th-17th century Elizabethan-Jacobean period carried the ‘AA’ device in one form or another, the authors or pseudonymous authors of which included Edmund Spenser, Sir Philip Sydney, Thomas Lodge, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, and Sir Francis Bacon, amongst others. Altogether there were at least six basic designs for the ‘AA’ headpiece, with several significant variations of these basic designs. "


In "The Author's Preface to the Reader" in the British Museum copy of the first (1612) edition of Thomas Shelton's version of Don Quixote can be seen the decorative light and dark AA design.

See PLUS ULTRA and the AA









 - Sir Francis Bacon's New Advancement of Learning