ALCHEMICAL MANUSCRIPT. Lapis philosophicos sive liber veri aureus de perfectissima Lapidis Philosophici ratione, inventione et confectione. By C.V.M. Written in England, first quarter of the 17th century. Sm.4° (198x147mm). 100 leaves, including 2 blanks, paginated throughout, border on each page ruled in red, written in a very neat cursive bookhand by one scribe, index at end in another hand, marginal notes throughout in a later 17th-century hand in ink and in pencil. TABLE ON VELLUM OF THE PROPERTIES OF MERCURY AND METALS, in colours on gold-scrolled ground, pasted in. Loosely inserted is a sheet with a drawing in ink of an Alchemical Furnace or Athanor, with a description in English. Contemporary English calf, spine with raised bands, later label (ties lacking).
PROVENANCE: Given by 'B.N. mater' to 'S.M. filia' in May 1626, probably a relationship in alchemy (signed on first leaf, on title and paste-down at end; George Areskyn (i.e. Erskine) 2 August, 1633 (signed on title); the next owner, who annotated the volume, has signed his name on the recto of the first leaf, but this has been partly pasted down and firmly crossed out.
TEXT: 'Enarratio methodica trium Geberi medicinarum, in quibus continetur vera lapidis Philosophici confectione', headed on first page, the volume contains instructions for the philosopher' stone, divided into three orders, mainly from Geber, but also Rasis, Albertus Magnus and Plato. On page 92 is a verse in English from Norton 'When your materialls by preparation be made well apt for generation Then they must be parted a twyn into ffour Elements to make you wyn'.
The very fine table, showing the colours and symbols of the elements, has a commentary written in a minute very neat hand, including three verses from George Ripley 'his preface' from the Twelve Gates of the Compound of Alchemy.