La filosophia naturale di molti celebri et antichissimi [manuscript].

[Italy?], 1721.
2 v. (410, 416 leaves) : paper ; 210 x 160 (173 x 130) mm. bound to 222 x 180 mm. + 1 note.
Alchemy -- Early works to 1800.
Magic -- Early works to 1800.
Occultism -- Early works to 1800.
Talismans -- Early works to 1800.
Manuals (instructional materials)
Manuscripts, Italian -- 18th century.
Manuscripts, European.
Italian, with notes in French.
Alchemical treatise that discusses calcination, distillation, and transmutation as well as practical instructions for experiments and medicinal recipes. The end of the first volume also has a sonnet about the philosopher's stone (V. 1, f. 408r). Includes indices that are organized by subject (V.2, f. v recto-xi verso, 355r-364r) and lists of contents (V. 1, f. i verso; V.2, f. xii recto-xv verso) written in French. The first volume contains a foldout diagram between f. 320-321 and there is a fragment of a printed leaf laid into the second volume between f. 7-8.
Ms. codex.
Title from title page (V. 1, f. 1r).
Foliation: V.1: Paper, i (contemporary paper) + 410 + i (contemporary paper); [i, 1-2], 3-320, [i], 321-408, [i]. V.2: Paper, iii (contemporary paper) + 416 + iii (contemporary paper); [xl,1-2], 3-354, [355-376]; contemporary foliation in ink, modern foliation in pencil, upper right recto.
Layout: Written in 16 long lines.
Script: Written in a semi-cursive script by a single hand.
Decoration: V. 1 contains pen and ink drawings and diagrams of alchemical apparatus, pentacles, and talismans throughout; title page partially illuminated with gold paint (f. 2r).
Binding: Contemporary gold-tooled morocco. First volume has pink, yellow, and green silk ribbon bookmarks.
Origin: Written in Italy[?] in 1721 (v. 1, f. 2r).
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. 592.1 and 592.2, 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 1681.
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)
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