This item has sold. We are always interested in acquiring another copy or any item of comparable quality.


Sympathetic ink, practical jokes, bonsai flowers, cryptography

[Recipes, Helpful Hints, and Practical Jokes]. "Kunst-Museum oder Sammlung auserlesner Kunststücke aus dem Gebiete der Öconomie, Physik, Botanik, Chemie, Optik, Mathematik, Mechanik u. Magie" ("Museum or Collection of Exquisite Tricks From Economy, Physics, Botany, Chemistry, Optics, Mathematics, Mechanics, and Magic").

Likely Germany, early 19th century.

8vo (106 x 162 mm). German ms. on paper. 36 ff. German cursive in dark brown ink. Sewn.

An intriguing German manuscript containing recipes for ink in various colours (including sympathetic ink), paint, surgical glue, plaster for making casts of coins, fragrant "Pot Pourris", boot polish, and stain removers, as well as instructions on "how to repair old paintings" and "how to print an engraving". Other sections contain "chemical, mechanical, optical, mathematical and other tricks", including how to grow Bonsai flowers in walnut shells, how to push an egg through a bottleneck whole, how to "skeletonize leaves", how to "cut an apple without damaging the skin", how to "spit fire from the mouth", "the death-lamp", "how to convert milk into blood", "how to make fire leap forth from water", how to grow dwarfed dogs by feeding them brandy and ground corals, "how to raise a great ruckus at night with a cat", and numerous pranks and practical jokes to play on friends, as well as riddles, card tricks, and mathematical entertainments. An appendix provides methods for quickly copying letters without the use of a copying press and numerous methods of cryptography.

Some browning. Thoroughly revised in red and black ink, apparently for an intended publication, with numerous underlinings, corrections, and dispositions regarding chapters and item numbers. Sketches for a table of contents and a title on the final page. A very curious survival.