Franklin

Ars artium ... [etc.] [manuscript].

Publication:
England, 1787.
Format/Description:
Manuscript
234 leaves : paper ; 159 x 98 (128 x 82) mm. bound to 166 x 110 mm.
Subjects:
Angels -- Early works to 1800.
Magic -- Early works to 1800.
Spirits -- Early works to 1800.
Occultism -- Early works to 1800.
Form/Genre:
Manuscripts, English -- 18th century.
Manuscripts, Latin -- 18th century.
Manuscripts, European.
Language:
English, Latin, and French, with occasional words in Greek and Hebrew.
Summary:
Occult compendium copied and compiled by Charles Rainsford and mainly comprising prayers, lists of divine names for invocations (p. 180-189), and instructions for conjurations taken from works attributed to well-known occultists such as John Dee and Richard Napier. Practical instructions for conjuring spirits include one experiment for summoning the spirit Askariel so that he appears in a crystal or beryl with a garland of yellow flowers upon his head (p. 52). Another section details preparations to be completed before conducting rituals such as securing a secret room with an eastward-facing window that has been consecrated with frankincense, abstaining from the company of women, eating a spare diet, and dressing oneself in clean clothes (p. 39-40). A note by Rainsford on p. i states that it is an exact copy of a manuscript that he borrowed from a bookseller for the price of one guinea and that the original had the name Dr. Dee written on it, presumably a reference to John Dee, the 16th century occultist. The last section contains notes regarding the personal papers of alchemist Richard Napier which were bequeathed to fellow occultist Elias Ashmole and which are now housed at the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford. This section also occasionally makes references to earlier pages in the manuscript (for example, p. 201 refers back to the use of beryls for conjuration on p. 52). Also includes a partial list of contents (p. 190-191).
Notes:
Ms. codex.
Title from caption title (p. 1).
Pagination: Paper, i (contemporary paper) + 234 + i (contemporary paper) leaves; [ii], 1-207, [208-466]; contemporary pagination in ink, upper outer corners.
Layout: Written in 15-16 long lines.
Script: Written in a cursive script in the hand of Charles Rainsford.
Decoration: Circular diagrams (p. 180); red ink used throughout.
Binding: Contemporary blind-tooled parchment; remnants of two metal clasps.
Origin: Written in England in 1787 (note, p. 206).
Local notes:
Purchased with support from the B. H. Breslauer Foundation.
Penn Provenance:
Formerly owned by Charles Rainsford (British army officer, fellow of the Royal Society, and alchemist); bequeathed by Rainsford to Hugh Percy, Second Duke of Northumberland.
Owned by the 2nd through 12th Dukes of Northumberland, ms. 588, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, 1809-2014 (bookplate, inside upper cover; stamps throughout).
Sold at auction at Sotheby's (London), 15 July 2014, as part of Lot 411.
Cited as:
UPenn Ms. Codex 1677.
Contributor:
Dee, John, 1527-1608.
Ashmole, Elias, 1617-1692.
Napier, Richard, 1559-1634.
Rainsford, Charles, 1728-1809, former owner.
Northumberland, Hugh Percy, Duke of, 1742-1817, former owner.
Charles Rainsford Collection of Alchemical and Occult Manuscripts (University of Pennsylvania)
OCLC:
912939035
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