Copy of an Anonymous Letter to Mr. Ford on the Lapis Philosophorum

transcribed from http://archive.org/details/manlypalmerhbox18v2hall. This letter was received by Sigismund Bacstrom's friend, a "Mr Ford", and copied by Bacstrom.


Being informed that you are deserving brother in the study of Alchemy, and as such only I address you; and having reason to suppose that you have not attained to perfection, in order to make your studies easy to yourself, and trusting it will be for the benefit of others also deserving, I send you this information. Alchemy appears to me as a study in so single a point of view that it strikes with astonishment that any person acquainted with Mathematical philosophy should not instantly discover it; for in the study of Mathematics, before you can give a solution or answer to any question proposed you must bring your numbers to the same denomination.

In Alchemy 'tis the same. You must first make a butter of from the y regulus in the usual way; then make a luna cornea, or butter of , and digest them both with an equal weight of mercury sublimate.

This will give you a tinging power as to silver and enable you prosecute your studies further, with comfort to your self and assistance to your friends.

Being unknown the only request I have to make is secrecy in the business, and perhaps at some future period I may not only give you a further friendly hint but inform you of a study as much superior to Alchemy as tis possible for the human mind to conceive.

Till then and for ever wishing you health, peace and happiness. I remain


1 comment:

crestind said...

Nice blog. This line of work has been particularly interesting to me. There are several recipes which involve the use of "butter of antimony" (SbCl3) to make a philosophical mercury. Apparently it works with butter of mercury alone, as well as mercury sublimate (HgCl) alone to produce tinging products.