Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Alchemy Ingredients

18th century

"The Rebis - a winged hermaphrodite, with a male head on its right and a female head on its left holds a sword in the right hand and a crown in the left; it stands on a two-headed beast which also has human faces on its underbelly.
Putrefaction Rebis - a winged hermaphrodite, with a male head on its right and a female head on its left holds a coiled snake in the right hand and a cup containing three snakes in the left; it stands on a golden stone and a silver stone from which flow waters the feed the sun and moon respectively; a beast at the foot of the page drinks the waters. Explanations in red & black. Fifteenth century."

"Forma Speculi Trinitae - Christ crucified, dressed in black with wings; above his crown sits a three-headed bird, in each hand is a crown on which sits a bird, at each foot are the head and shoulders of a man.
Figura Speculi Sancte Trinitatis - in the centre two men crown a woman, beneath is a shield on which a woman supports the crucified body of Christ; at the four corners are the symbols of the Evangelists, Rhymed explanations in red & black; some also in Latin. Fifteenth century."

Khunrath - 17th century

12 double page alchemy manuscript images have been uploaded to the Rylands Collection at the John Rylands Library - University of Manchester.

The site requires an 'Insight' browser (like swimming in a straight-jacket to my way of thinking) but I'm pretty sure the images will display in plain java script. All the alchemy manuscript pages available are German (and alchemy is only one of quite a few subjects for which they have online rare book/manuscript images - these alchemical pages just happen to meet my main criteria of 'weird' and 'esoteric').
There are 2 other collections in addition to the Rylands collection, which I haven't checked out.

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