Manuscript on paper, written in German, Latin, and some Greek & Hebrew, containing, in a series of six texts, many experiments, preparations & procedures for both chemical & alchemical purposes. CHYMIA MANUSCRIPTA, title on spine.
Manuscript on paper, written in German, Latin, and some Greek & Hebrew, containing, in a series of six texts, many experiments, preparations & procedures for both chemical & alchemical purposes.
Manuscript on paper, written in German, Latin, and some Greek & Hebrew, containing, in a series of six texts, many experiments, preparations & procedures for both chemical & alchemical purposes.
Manuscript on paper, written in German, Latin, and some Greek & Hebrew, containing, in a series of six texts, many experiments, preparations & procedures for both chemical & alchemical purposes.
Manuscript on paper, written in German, Latin, and some Greek & Hebrew, containing, in a series of six texts, many experiments, preparations & procedures for both chemical & alchemical purposes.

Paracelsian Chemistry & Alchemy

Manuscript on paper, written in German, Latin, and some Greek & Hebrew, containing, in a series of six texts, many experiments, preparations & procedures for both chemical & alchemical purposes.

Written in three legible hands of the second half of the 17th cent. & the first quarter of the 18th. Paper: watermarks of a stag within a crown and “FV” (apparently not found in the usual watermark reference books). Section I: 169 numbered pp. (final two pp. blank), [3] blank pp., [40] leaves; Section II: 100 numbered pp. (lacking one leaf, pp. 49-50), [6] leaves (final two blank); Section III: [16] leaves; Section IV: [12] leaves (final leaf blank); Section V: [12] leaves; Section VI: [13] leaves. Small folio (325 x 204 mm.), cont. vellum over boards, spine lettered at head with title “Chymia Manuscripta,” characteristic Chorinsky shelf mark “F.7.” at foot. [Germany]: 1655-1725.

An important Paracelsian chemical, alchemical, and pharmaceutical manuscript, completely unstudied, from the famous Chorinsky private library, which was formed in the 18th century and remained intact until the 1930s. Our manuscript contains six different texts, with a series of hundreds of alchemical, chemical, and pharmaceutical experiments and preparations, as well as commentaries on published chemical and alchemical texts. It was compiled between 1655 and 1725. Clearly, it is a “sister” manuscript to the one we offered in 2015 (see below), also from the Chorinsky library.

Section I: The first text, 126 leaves in total and written in a legible hand of the second half of the 17th century, consists of comments on and summaries of many experiments of a chemical and alchemical nature. The beginning of the text is entitled “Notata…fein geschriben buch welches mir Hr baron Andrisch [?] aus sonderbarer freundschafft com(m)unicirt hat” [“Notata…nicely written book communicated to me in a gesture of special friendship by Baron Andrisch [?]”]. The text is rich in chemical and alchemical symbols for metals (notably gold, phosphorus, and platinum), other substances, and processes, especially distillation and sublimation. There are many references to Paracelsus (Theophrastus) and his various alchemical and chemical writings (notably his Thesaurus Thesaurum Alchimi) and Isaac Hollandus (the mysterious early 17th-century writer on alchemy and chemistry, see Ferguson). Also discussed are a “universal medicament,” the macro- and microcosms, mineral and vegetable substances, a “panacea vegetabilis,” chemical processes using feces, a balsam of nature that can cure all terrible illnesses otherwise incurable in Galenic medicine, niter, the close relationship between the harmony of music and astronomy, Hermetic philosophy, etc., etc.

It is signed on the final page by “Thomas Grünberger, Med. Doctoris,” dated 25 August 1655. We have been unable to learn anything about him.

Section II: The text is written in the same hand and therefore presumably by Grünberger. Greek is often used. We find discussions of Paracelsus’s concepts in alchemy and chemistry, “metalla minora,” putrefaction, Rosicrucian ideas in alchemy, fermentation, Roger Bacon, Arnald of Villanova, the “saccharum saturni,” mortification, compounds including arsenic, many pharmaceutical recipes, etc., etc. Pages 49-50 have been removed at an early date.

Section III: The third text, perhaps also written by Grünberger, is entitled “Notata…instructione…cujus opus est in … Theo. [Paracelsus] Chymiae Vol. VI p. 163.” It is a discussion of Paracelsian theories and processes of alchemy and chemistry.

Section IV: The fourth text, dated 1721, and entitled “Arcana Specialia,” is signed by Johann Gottman “Ord. Ros. Cruc.” This is concerned with alchemical and chemical theories.

Section V: This text, written in an early 18th-century hand, contains a series of “operations” or laboratory procedures to manufacture various oils used in the making of pharmaceutical products.

Section VI: The sixth and final text is entitled “Descriptio de Lapide Philosophorum. Von 15 Martii 1725 von Monsr Nusdorff Communicirt…Dieser Kunst.” The Wellcome Library also has two manuscripts with this text, both dated 15 March 1722. This section of our manuscript is clearly written in the same — unidentified — handsome German baroque script as the first part of another alchemical manuscript from the Chorinsky library, which we offered in our Cat. 213, item 66, in 2015.

PROVENANCE: Our manuscript comes from the famous library of Ignatz Dominik, Graf Chorinsky von Ledske (1729-92), with his armorial bookplate. The large Chorinsky library was sold at auction in 1930 by Antiquariat Hans Götz in Hamburg. Many of the books and manuscripts from the Bibliothek Chorinsky were identically bound in ivory vellum with the painted red compartment at the top of the spine and shelf mark written in red at the bottom. First leaf of text with the stamp of the antiquarian bookseller, Rosicrucian, and theosophist Heinrich Tränker (1880-1956).

We have given only the merest suggestion of the contents of these texts and their research possibilities.

In fine condition. A few ink splatterings and some ink show-through.

Price: $25,000.00

Item ID: 7261