First German printing of Roger Bacon's "Lapis philosophorum"

Bacon, Roger / Hildenbrandt von Hildenbrandseck, Paulus (ed.). Auriferae artis Das ist, Der Goldtkunst: Die man Chemiam nennt, Uhrälteste Authores und Anfänger. Oder: Turba philosophorum. Zum Andern, Ein vortrefflicher Tractat, deß [...] Philosophi Rogeri Bachonis, Den ich von einem guten Freundt Teutsch geschrieben bekommen (welcher zuvor niemals Teutsch gedruckt) Von der warhafftigen Composition deß Lapidis Philosophorum Theoricè & Physicè [...].

Frankfurt a. M., Nikolaus Basse, 1597.

8vo. (16), 168 (misnumbered: 167) pp. Title-page printed in red and black. With a woodcut in the text. Contemporary limp vellum with ties. All edges red.


Very rare first German edition of this collection of alchemical works. The preface ("Typographus lectori") by the Basel printer Peter Perna, who printed the first Latin edition of the "Auriferae artis" in 1572, mentions Geber (Jabir ibn Hayyan), Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Rhases (al-Razi), Arnaldus de Villanova, and Raymond Lull.

The present edition is of special importance for containing the first German printing of Bacon's "Lapis philosophorum" (pp. 109-168; not present in the Latin edition). Bacon believed that certain alchemical metals, produced under the influence of the stars and planets, were capable of prolonging human life. The book describes the various steps of alchemical art necessary for producing the Philosopher's Stone and for completing the Opus Magnum. The volume also contains the "Satzungen der Goldkunst" ("Propositions of the Art of Gold") and "Turba philosophorum" ("Philosophy of the Art of Gold").

Binding a little rubbed and rather stained; upper cover warped; light edge damage. Interior somewhat browned and stained throughout with occasional dampstaining in the margins; corners a little buckled. Title-page a little dust-stained and trimmed closely at the upper edge. Wants front free endpaper; corners torn from lower free endpaper.


VD 16, A 4356. Kopp II, 344. Brüning 693. Cf. Ferguson I, 405 (1608 reprint). Not in Adams or BM-STC German.

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