Clavis Artis is the title of an alchemical manuscript published in Germany in three volumes in the late 17th or early 18th century, attributed to Zoroaster (Zarathustra). It features numerous watercolor illustrations depicting alchemical images, as well as pen drawings of laboratory instruments. Three copies of the manuscript are known to exist, one at the Biblioteca […]
Nothing is known of Abraham Eleazar, supposedly a Jewish alchemist and author of this remarkable book about ancient alchemy: Uraltes chymisches Werk… (“Age-Old Chymical Work”) which was first published in Erfurt in 1734 (Source). The Jewish Encyclopedia states that the Eleazar’s name was likely to be fictional, and the real author might have been Julius […]
Here be Dragons, hic sunt dracones, is a famously inscribed on one of the oldest globes in the world, the Hunt-Lenox Globe from ca. 1510, as a phrase marking unchartered territory. The following images are not about terrae incognitae – but they are about dragons. Even African ones.
Bestiaries – books of beasts – were made popular in the Middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals and legendary creatures. Each beast was an allegory: “Animals, both real and imagined, wild and domestic, were thought to have significance beyond themselves” (James Grout). For example, the pelican, devoted to its children, was believed […]
The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is a great resource for finding high-res digitizations of alchemical and mystical book illustrations. The following were taken from an “Alchemical and Rosicrucian compendium”, dated ca. 1760. No further information about this specific record is provided, but there is a very informative blog post about their European Alchemy collection. The uncopyrighted […]