By and for the artisanal practitioner

[Alchemy and pigment recipes]. Praeparationes variae aluminii calcinatio. [A collection of recipes for the preparation of pigments, gilding, etc].

Probably Germany, ca. 1650.

8vo (111 x 175 mm). German and Latin manuscript on paper. 58 ff. with a total of 97 written pages, some illustrations. Dark brown ink with chapter titles mostly in red ink. Modern half vellum over red marbled boards with giltstamped red spine.


A pretty pocket-sized manual of early modern artisanal recipes, with much alchemical content but also strongly devoted to colours and gilding. Chapters include: "salis amoniaci", "aqua de albumine ovorum", "nota de calcinatione", "cinobrium fixum", "how to make borras", "aqua auripigmenti", "how to make arsenic metallic", "aqua ardens", "de antimonio & sublimatio antimonii" (with two small drawings), "praeparatio antimonii", "vitrum antimonii", "de Jove", "de Saturno", "praeparatio plumbi", "crocus martis", "how to dealbate Mars", "de venere & cupro purgatio", "aqua purgans", "a goldsmith's album", "tinctura pulcra ad album", "alia tinctura and lapis philosophorum", "how to colour something yellow", "cousin Andrew's yellow pigment", "green", "red pigment", "brown red", "dark brown", "white paint", "violet brown", "dull brown", "pretty rose red and permanent", "fired yellow, or golden yellow", "on paints", "how to apply gold", "argentum musicum", "a gold pigment", "sap green", "how to etch with water", "gold ink to be written with a quill pen", "gold powder for writing and painting", "how to make vermilion", "how to make verdigris", "how to make rubrica or minium out of white lead", "how to prepare a scumble", "rose paint", "green twine", "how to silver-plate brass" (with a small drawing), "how to assay saltpetre", etc.

A separate section, inserted in a different hand, provides a detailed breakdown of the costs for setting up an alchemical laboratory with sublimating jars, flasks, and vials, as well as the expected profits (namely 12,208 guilders).

The red ink of the chapter headings is often faded and poorly legible. Untrimmed leaves of various, slightly differing heights. Somewhat browned throughout; some dampstaining to the lower edge near the end.

A rich array of instructions by and for the artisanal practitioner.

Stock Code: BN#59250 Tags: , , ,