11 - 13 July 2000
SENDIVOGIUS, Michael (1566-1636). A New Light of Alchymy: taken out of the fountain of nature and manual experience. To which is added a treatise on sulphur ... also nine books of the Nature of Things written by Paracelsus ... also a chymical dictionary ... translated out of the Latin ... by J.F. London: A. Clark, for Tho[mas] Williams, 1674.
8° (112 x 173mm). (Some soiling of preliminaries, mainly marginal, a few rust spots on quire B, Y1 with tear at lower margin.) Contemporary speckled sheep ruled in blind, red speckled edges (slight scuff marks, spine frayed at head).
Second edition in English, the first appearing in 1650. The De lapide philosophorum of Sendivogius was first published at Prague in 1604, but became known as Novum lumen chymicum, after the appearance of the Paris edition of 1608. The Tractatus de sulphure altero naturae principio, a work frequently printed with it, was first issued at Cologne in 1616. In the English translation 'by J.F.,' possibly either John French or John Freake, these two treatises are accompanied by a tract of Paracelsus and a dictionary, both with separate title pages. The 'mysterious and intriguing' Sendivogius was considered by many alchemists to be the true possessor of the philospher's stone. Although his alchemical writings had no influence on chemistry, his De lapide philoosophorum is of great value in the history of science on account of his observations on the components of air, leading to an argument that 'contains the first idea of the existence of oxygen' (DSB, XII, p. 307). Ferguson I, p. 257 and II, p. 367; Wing S-2507A.
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