The Vessels of Hermes – an Alchemical Album (ca.1700)

The contents of Box 14 from the Manly Palmer Hall Collection of Alchemical Manuscripts, a huge collection of esoteric works amassed by Manly Palmer Hall, a Canadian-born author and mystic, perhaps most famous for his The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1928). Most of the material in the collection was acquired from Sotheby’s auctioneers on a trip he made in the 1930s to England and France – bought very cheaply due to the economic conditions of the time. The material in Hall’s collection dates from 1500 to 1825, and includes works from the likes of Jakob Böhme, Sigismond Bacstrom, Alessandro Cagliostro, George Ripley and Michael Maier. The creator of these particular watercolours featured below is unknown. A typewritten note in the back, in French, translates as follows:

ALCHEMICAL ALBUM – The Vessels of Hermes – quarto atlas containing five beautiful colour plates very artistically executed and with explanatory caption. Vol. half vellum.

The plates of this collection are the synthetic description of the great work. The first one represents the egg of Hermogenes and the three characters who hold it are salt, sulphur and mercury. The second is the king’s bath made with the blood of the innocents. The third is the sublimation by the eagles after putrefaction. The fourth is the Rebis still called the Androgynous. The fifth is the mercury of art symbolised by a heart surrounded by the crown of thorns in the centre of a cross, because the philosopher’s stone is the physical proof of the redemption by Jesus.

Housed at: Internet Archive | From: The Getty
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: Pending Clarification
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