Manuscripts, English -- 19th century. Drawings (visual works)
English manuscript notebook comprising forty-four pages of entries for talismans of mansions of the moon and for other talismans. Ownership inscription on inside front cover: "Mr. T. Priest, 57 Titford Road, Langley, Oldbury." The notebook includes drawings in black ink of talismans with written instructions on their use. The talismans incorporate elements of astrology, witchcraft, and Jewish mystical symbolism. Hebrew letters are used throughout, suggesting the possibility of origin in a Jewish milieu. The work falls into two parts. The first twenty-eight figures (mansions of the moon) feature figurative drawings within circular frames. The second series contrasts in style and most are drawn using abstract, geometrical elements almost devoid of naturalistic pictorial content. The second series comprises unadorned Hebrew inscriptions, astrological signs, and Jewish and Christian symbols. Both series contain instructions for making the talismans, such as specifying material (white paper, virgin parchment, silver, and pure gold; various perfumes) and noting when to make the talisman, usually expressed in condensed astrological notation, down to the day of the week and hour of the day.
Acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the Rosengarten Family Fund.