Manuscript on paper from first leaf “Komo ryu shoshu seiso sho” [“Red-Haired {Dutch} School of Distillation Recipes to make Medicines”].

Ten rather fine hand-colored illus. of Western distillation equipment & furnaces. 35; 55 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo (237 x 170 mm.), orig. blue wrappers (wrappers slightly discolored & rubbed), new stitching. [Japan: late Edo].

We learn from the first leaf of this manuscript that the editor of this collection of Dutch pharmaceutical recipes was Tanemichi (or Kosai) Yoshio (1787-1866), nephew of the physician Kogyu Yoshio, who had studied Dutch medicine. Tanemichi was born in Nagasaki and joined the family business; he was a doctor in his home city and became a disciple of Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold (1796-1866), the famous natural historian who became physician at Dejima in 1823.

This collection of 395 pharmaceutical recipes, some of which were learned from von Siebold, seems to be unpublished, having remained in manuscript in an effort to keep them secret. The recipes are very detailed and all of them employ distillation methods to produce the medicines and oils. Most of the names of the medicines are in katakana, to reproduce the sounds of the Western medicines.

The attractive illustrations, all hand-colored, depict Western distillation equipment and furnaces.

Fine condition. Preserved in a chitsu.

Price: $6,500.00

Item ID: 6907