Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, MS Ashb. 1166

Miscellany of Alchemy Facsimile Edition

Our price

More Buying Choices

Request Info

The Ashburnham 1166 manuscript, named after its former owner Bertram Ashburnham, is a treasured piece among the extensive collection of manuscripts now housed in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence. This vellum codex offers a captivating window into the practices and philosophies of 15th-century alchemy.

At its core, the Ashburnham 1166 manuscript venerates alchemy as a sacred science, harking back to the profound adoration the ancient Egyptians held for this transformative art. It presents alchemy not just as an intellectual pursuit but as a divine imperative, essential for those seeking to decipher the cryptic codes of creation.

One of the manuscript's distinguishing features is its rich array of illustrations that adorn its pages, acting as visual representations of the profound insights within. These illustrations are not merely decorative but serve as a testament to the intrinsic grandeur embedded in the alchemical teachings. On folio 1v there is an intriguing depiction of Hermes as an "Eastern philosopher," recognized as the "Father of philosophers and alchemy." In this representation, Hermes appears as an elderly figure adorned with a turban and dressed in Arabic attire.

Attributed, perhaps arbitrarily, to Johannes von Teschen or Ticinensis, the manuscript garners particular attention for its striking depiction of a dying man, pierced by an arrow, becoming one with a tree that springs from his body. This powerful image, steeped in symbolic significance, is rendered with the delicate touch of watercolors, reminiscent of the style associated with the Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini.

Embedded within the manuscript is an anecdote that resonates with the enigmatic nature of its subject. It recounts a moment of profound adherence to hermetic principles where, following the directive "perform the work and burn your books," the manuscript itself began to burn.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Miscellany of Alchemy": Miscelánea De Alquimia facsimile edition, published by Ediciones Grial, 2004

Request Info / Price
Manuscript book description compiled by the publisher.
Please Read
International social justice movements and the debates that ensued prompted us to start considering the contents of our website from a critical point of view. This has led us to acknowledge that most of the texts in our database are Western-centered. We have asked the authors of our content to be aware of the underlying racial and cultural bias in many scholarly sources, and to try to keep in mind multiple points of view while describing the manuscripts. We also recognize that this is yet a small, first step towards fighting inequality.

If you notice any trace of racist or unjust narratives in our communications, please help us be part of the change by letting us know.

Miscelánea De Alquimia

Valencia: Ediciones Grial, 2004

  • Commentary (Spanish) by Santos, Demetrio; Rao, Ida Giovanna
  • Limited Edition: 821 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Miscellany of Alchemy: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

Our Price

More Buying Choices

Request Info