Jabir's alchemy

[Bracesco, Giovanni]. Jabir ibn Hayyan / Lullus, Raimundus. De alchemia dialogi duo. Quorum prior, genuinam librorum Gebri sententiam, de industria ab authore celatam, & figurato sermone inuolutam retegit, & certis argumentis probat.

Lyon, Godefroy & Marcel Beringen, 1548.

8vo (12 x 17 cm). 147, (1) pp. With woodcut printer's device, 3 stipple-engraved initials, and a woodcut on the last page. Contemporary limp vellum.


First Latin edition of this alchemical work, first published in Venice in 1544 as "La Espositione di Geber philosopho". Written in the form of a dialogue, the first part contains a conversation between a certain Demogorgon and Geber (whom Demogorgon addresses as "most learned nephew of Mahomet") about the latter's works. In the second part Demogorgon interviews Raymond Lull about his "Lignum vitae" and the discovery of a remedy to prolong human life. Kopp suspects that the anonymous author Bracesco was a 16th century physician and alchemist from Orzinuovi near Brescia.

Binding a little rubbed, lacking ties. Interior somewhat browned and stained throughout, the first leaves more so. Curiously, the first 26 pages in particular (but also a few later pages) have been mutilated by an early owner, who obscured and excised particular words from the text (apparently mainly concerning the word "vitriolum"); these lacunae have been rebacked with paper and the missing text supplied by the hand of a later owner. Some worming to lower gutter of the first 16 leaves, with slight loss. With contemporary ink marginalia in Latin throughout.

Adams J 8. BM-STC French 238. Rosenthal 337. Brüning 247 (all s. v. Geber). Ferguson I, 123. CG XL, 1024. Baudrier III, 46. Palau 143878. Alchemy and the Occult 18.4. Bolton, Select Bibl. of Chemistry, p. 972. OCLC 18153918. For Jabir see GAL I 241; GAL S I 426ff.