Alchemical miscellany

Alanus, de Insulis, d. 1202
Albertus, Magnus, Saint, 1193?-1280
Arnaldus, de Villanova, d. 1311
Jābir ibn Ḥayyān
Khālid ibn Yazīd al-Umawī, 7th cent
Germany or Austria
[ca. 1400]
Physical Description:
ff. i + 136 : parchment ; 165 x 117 (124 x 98) mm.
Ruled in red ink in two columns of 40 lines each.
Written space 124 x 98 mm.
Armorial bookplate of Andreas Beham the Elder, dated 1595, engraved by Johann Siebmacher, (d. 1611)
Modern pencil foliation throughout with various early pagination/foliation schemes.
Script: Written in Gothica textualis by a careful but ill-formed hand in which differing letter forms are often not discrete, with annotations by a later 15th-century cursive hand and occasional notes by other hands of the same period.
Important capitals painted in red and blue with occasional filiform decoration, rubricated, and capitals frequently stroked red, but without other ornament or illustration.
Binding: Fifteenth century, German. Presumably original, of oaken boards covered with red-dyed hide, sides framed by triple blind fillets, additional fillets drawn diagonally to form a pattern of lozenges; the original back laid down on a new backstrip preserving the four original raised bands, plus head and foot bands, which are drawn into the boards, fastened with wooden wedges, and reinforced with strips of parchment (cut from a 13th-century manuscript with faint writing in a very small gothic hand) which are glued down to the inside boards. On both covers single nailholes near the corners and two such holes in the center of each cover indicate the removal of brass cornerpieces and centerpieces; a single brass catch with iron bar, fastened by three brass nails, is preserved in the upper cover, the clasp missing from the lower cover indicated only by a mark. Modern leather label on backstrip, stamped in silver between rules top and bottom: ""ALCHEMICAL MISCELLANY MANUSCRIPT FRANCE 15TH C."".
MS 5 is notable for its large collection of medieval alchemies, both speculative and practical, and especially for the important group of writings by Johannes of Teschen.
2r-3v : An early example of alchemical music, the Antiphona, by Johannes de Teschen, written in Hufnagelschrift.
Manuscript on parchment (palimpsest) of a large collection of medieval alchemies, both speculative and practical. Includes an important group of writings by Johannes of Teschen, notably his Antiphona with musical notation. Also contains works by Arnold of Villanova, Alanus, Geber, Khalid ibn Yazid, and Albertus Magnus.
Alchemy--Early works to 1800
Manuscripts, Medieval--Connecticut--New Haven
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in Beinecke Library
Illuminated manuscripts
Musical works
Content Type:
Archives or Manuscripts
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Access Restrictions:
Book of Secrets: Alchemy
Call Number:
Mellon MS 5
Orbis Record:
Orbis Barcode:
Yale Collection:
Beinecke Library
Digital Collection:
General Collection, BRBL, Yale University
oid pointer:
Witten, Laurence C. and Pachella, Richard. Alchemy and the Occult: A Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts from the Collection of Paul and Mary Mellon. Volume Three: Manuscripts, Mellon MS 5.
Alchemical Miscellany. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Extent of digitization:
Complete work digitized.

Number of Pages: 282
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