Description

    "One of the Best Known Alchemical Works"

    Heinrich Khunrath. Amphitheatrum Sapientiæ. Amphitheatrum Sapientiæ Æternæ Solius Veræ Christiano-Kabalisticum, Divino-Magicum, nec non Physico-Chymicum, Tertriuntum, Catholicon: instructore Henrico Kunrath Lips. Theosophiæ amatore fideli, et Medicinæ utriusq(ue) Doct: Hallelú-Iáh! Hallelú-Iáh! Hallelú-Iáh! Phy diabol! È Milibus Uix Vni. Hannover: Wilhelm Anton, 1609. First complete edition. Folio. 285 x 195mm. a-g4, h2, A-2E4. 60, 222, [1], [1] pages. Modern light brown morocco over paper boards with title in calligraphic letters with decorative borders; edges blued; endpapers and paste-downs covered with old (early nineteenth century?) calligraphic symbolic manuscripts with what appears to be numerological significance in use of capitalized Roman numerals [chronographs]. Engraved emblematic title page; portrait of Khunrath by Jan Diricks van Campen; eight (of nine) double-page illustrations (one of Khunrath in his study has the right side replaced by a facsimile on old paper); [This copy lacks the "wise old owl" plate and "Stone of the Philosophers" [replaced with loose facsimile on old paper], two double-page tables; grotesque tail-pieces, head-pieces, decorated initials. Title page and portrait laid-down on old paper; upper right corner of title page missing with some image loss; small expert repairs to blank versos of some plates; plates on tabs; some old stains; some age-toning; first gathering loose. In general, a very good copy with large margins and fine dark rich impressions of these famous plates. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    More Information:

    Stanislaus De Rola in his "The Golden Game: Alchemical Engravings of the Seventeenth Century" states that he believes that the seven square plates, who he assumes are also by Jan Diricks van Campen, are the original illustrations designed for the work as these are the only ones mentioned in the text. The four undated oval plates by Paullus van der Doort (the plate of the Laboratory is after a design by Hans Vredeman de Vries) were, he surmises, added in 1604. He does not state in his text, but has in conversion,that the 'owl' plate was added after the original 1609 edition was printed which would explain it being missing from many copies. In this opinion he seems to agree with Guita as quoted in Verginelli, page 179.

    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, page 38.

    "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, page 30. "Khunrath's Amphitheatrum Sapientiæ 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. Occult. Kabbalah. Alchemy. Theosophy. Religion. Philosophy. Medicine. Chemistry. Rosicrucian. Illustrated. Emblems.



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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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