28 Jan '15, 6pm

A beautiful early 17th century alchemical manuscript, via @MitchFraas:

An early copy of an important and enigmatic alchemical work. Sapientia Veterum (Of the Wisdom of the Ancients), also known as Coronatio Naturae (The Crowning of Nature), is a guide to the lengthy set of processes - distillation, calcination, sublimation, putrefaction, conjugation, separation, etc. - that would lead to the production of the legendary "red stone", through a series of 67 extraordinary symbolic illustrations. These complex and fascinating images begin with a representation of chaos and end, ultimately, with the figure of nature bearing a crown. A sun and crescent moon are the central images of the first phase of the process, which culminates in the leo viridis (green lion), and are then followed by a long sequence of images that include a dove ending in a Quinta Essentia from which emerges the serpent, that in turn becomes an ouroboros, then a dragon. As with ...

Full article: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/engli...

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