Alchemical scroll, Europe, 1701-1800

Made:
1701-1800 in Europe
maker:
Unknown

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Alchemical scroll of painted mystical symbols, paper, linen backed, European, 18th century

Illustrated with watercolours, this 6 metre long scroll shows alchemical practices such as distillation and crystallisation (still used today by chemists) as well as some mystical symbols. Alchemy was a secretive practice, and its aims included the search for the Philosopher’s Stone – believed to guarantee eternal life – and the transformation of metals such as lead into gold. Alchemy could only be learnt from person to person, or by someone with a key to the symbols used. Most alchemical writings remain a mystery to modern historians.

Details

Category:
Pharmacy-ware
Object Number:
A21950
type:
scroll, scrolls
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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