With extensive annotations by a contemporary owner

Figulus, Benedictus. Rosarium novum olympicum et benedictum. Das ist: Ein newer Gebenedeyter Philosophischer Rosengart [...].

Basel, Figulus, 1608.

4to. 2 parts in one volume. (10), 83, (1) pp., 1 blank leaf; (16), 117, (3) pp. Title-page printed in red and black. With two woodcut title vignettes (the first coloured) and 7 small diagrammatic woodcuts in the text. Modern limp vellum using a 15th century liturgical manuscript. All edges red.


First edition of this alchemical manual; extremely rare: a prettily preserved copy with extensive annotations by a 17th century alchemist.

The first part contains extracts from Paracelsus, Salomon Trismosin, and Trithemius (though Sudhoff, who provides a thorough list of the contents, doubts the authenticity of the Paracelsus sections). The second part is given over to a translation of Lorenzo Ventura's "De lapide philsophorum". The title woodcut of part I shows the Tree of the Hesperides bearing six apples with alchemical metal symbols. The Swabian priest and alchemist Figulus (Benedikt Heffner, 1567 - after 1619) from Uttenhofen near Schwäbisch Hall was an important representative of Paracelsism in the early 17th century, associated with Rosicrucianism.

Lightly browned and occasionally brownstained; the blank lower half of the final leaf has be restored. With extensive contemporary ink and pencil marginalia as well as with underlinings (mostly in red ink) throughout. The blank pages at the end of part I are closely covered with the owner's notes, while the Latin motto from the Gospel of Luke ("Non est occultum ...") on the verso of the title-page has been supplied with a German translation in the same hand. Between pages 6 and 7 of the first part is a handwritten table of contents by the same unidentified alchemist.

VD 17 lists a single copy (in the Halle University Library).

VD 17, 3:302595W. Ackermann IV, 58. Duveen 216f. Ferchl 155. Ferguson I, 273f. Gmelin I, 316. Kopp I, 237 & II, 376. Rosenthal 298. Sudhoff 283. Schmieder 350. STC 558. Brüning I, 913f. OCLC 18207723.