Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    First Complete Edition of One of the
    Best Known Alchemical Works

    Heinrich Khunrath. Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae Solius Verae Christiano-Kabalisticum, Divino-Magicum, nec non Physico-Chymicum, Tertriuntum, Catholicon: instructore Henrico Kunrath Lips. Theosophiae amatore fideli, et Medicinae utriusq(ue) Doct: Hallelú-Iáh! Hallelú-Iáh! Halleú-Iáh! Phy diabolo! E. Milibus Uix Vni. Hannover: Wilhelm Anton, 1609. First complete edition. Folio. a-g4, h2, A-2E4. [4], 60, 222, [1], [1] pages. Engraved emblematic title page, portrait of Khunrath by Jan Diricks van Campen as frontispiece, with the rare wise old owl plate cut to image and pasted to verso of the engraved title page. Lacks the nine plates and two tables; grotesque tail-pieces, head-pieces, decorated initials [see Mellon for a full description of the decorative elements]. Contemporary German sheepskin with blind tooled spine, some hinge cracks, lacks spine ends but in good condition; edges red; lower blank edge of engraved title page replaced; some careful eighteenth century marginalia and a few underlines; paper toned but in good condition; small upper edge dampstain on opening leaves (no text affected). Very good. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit for an extended description of this lot.

    More Information:

    Khunrath (1560-1605) was a celebrated physician, alchemist, and Kabbalist. He practiced medicine in Hamburg and Dresden, and was a follower of Paracelsus. He believed himself to be an adept of various spiritual traditions of alchemy dominated by the Paracelsian belief in the divine science of medicine as a privilege of the initiated (scientia arcanorum)...Khunrath ardently sought to find and demonstrate the secret, divine primary matter endowed with the universal virtue of ruling all natural processes...These efforts would, he claimed, afford eternal wisdom..." DSB

    "Khunrath's 'Amphitheatre' forms a link between a philosophy influenced by Dee (whom he met!) and the philosophy of the Rosicrucian manifestos. In Khunrath's work we meet the characteristic phraseology of the manifestos, the everlasting emphasis on microcosm and microcosm, the stress on Magia, Cabala, and Alchymia as in some way combining to form a religious philosophy which promises a new dawn for mankind." Francis Yates, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment,1972,p38.

    "I am particularly impressed with Kuhnrath's pursuit of the Philosopher's stone for the avowed end of merging with Divine Wisdom, his combined use of Kabbalah, music and alchemy and his bold interpretation of the holy scriptures. His emblems are a veritable treasure-house, and a prolonged study will constantly yield subtler levels of meaning." Stanislaus De Rola p30.

    "Khunrath's Amphitheatrum Sapientiae may justly be referred to as one of the best known alchemical works: the plates with which it is illustrated are remarkable both for their subject-matter and their execution..." Duveen, The Library,5th series,1,56.

    VD17 1:078059R & VD17 12:120903N. Bruning 951. BL German 17th, K183. BPH, 500 Years of Gnosis,26b. Brunet III,658. Caillet 5747. Casanetense 676. De Bure II,248. De Rola,29ff. Esoterica 2363 "Rarissime." Ferguson I,463. Graesse, Magica, 113. Guita 1494. Hall/Alchemy 90. Krivatsy/NLM 6371. Jouin 157. Lenglet du Fesnoy III,198. MacPhail 62. Mellon 62. Rosenthal 482. Verginelli 170. Wellcome 3560. Neville I,719. Scholem, Kabbalistica 659.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 536

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 43 days left to consign to the 2019 September 5 Rare Books Signature Auction Books - New York !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 May 14 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    2019 May 14 Historical Manuscripts Grand Format Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $735,674