Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library > Alchemical compilation
- Alchemical compilation
- Published / Created
- ca. 1490 and ca. 1790 (additions)
- Publication Place
- Low Countries,
Manuscript on paper of an alchemical compilation, apparently the holograph of the original compiler, not identified. Probably the laboratory notes of a practicing alchemist. Includes lists of Flemish names, apparently identifying fellow practitioners in early alchemy; and laboratory procedures, designed primarily to color metals and to carry out other operations with various substances. Leaves inserted and blank pages filled at later dates.
Binding: Probably original. Stiff parchment over paper boards, flaps over the fore-edge, probably dating from about 1525, conceivably later, as the manuscript contents do not appear to have been bound at the time of writing in any case; flat spine with modern inscription in brown ink, "Alchemical
Headings of procedures in red and blue alternating in the original section, and with some capitals stroked red; no color in the additions. No ornament.
Recipes, original blue edges.
Script: The original part of the codex (ff. 1-133) written in a very fine, neat, and clear humanistic hand, and using a considerable range of alchemical symbols; the later additions (ff. 134-145) consist of Latin sections written in a neat italic and German passages in flowing cursive, perhaps both by a single German hand of the 18th century.
Though the whole of the manuscript has suffered some marginal water-staining since it was bound, it appears certain that other stains and damage occurred while the separated quires, or groups of them, remained unbound.
Watermark: Outstretched hand, the fingerjoints indicated, a four-leafed petal extending from the tip of the third finger, the wrist and cuff of a sleeve also depicted, comparable to Briquet 11423.
- ff. 146 : paper ; 140 x 104 (100 x 59) mm.
- Extent of Digitization
- This object has been completely digitized.
- Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
- Call Number
- Mellon MS 20
Subjects, Formats, And Genres
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Alchemical Compilation. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Witten, Laurence C. and Pachella, Richard. Alchemy and the Occult: A Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts from the Collection of Paul and Mary Mellon. Volume Three: Manuscripts, Mellon MS 20.
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