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1573 - The Alchemical Testament of Ramon Llull

1573 - The Alchemical Testament of Ramon Llull


The Testamentum is the earliest work in the Pseudo-Lullian Alchemical corpus, a large collection of over 143 texts that circulated as the work of Raymond Lull (or Ramon Llull, Raimundus Lullus; 1232-1316), the famous Catalan philosopher, theologian, and mystic. Despite the long tradition associating Lull with these works, it is now well-accepted that none of this large and important body of alchemical texts are authentic works by Lull (see the works by Michela Pereira). Instead, the Testamentum was likely written by an anonymous fourteenth-century Catalan scholar, now known as the “Magister Testamentum”, who probably studied medicine at Montpellier and was active in Catalonia, Southern France, and England.


The evidence of the colophons preserved in a number of manuscripts of the Testamentum suggests it was composed in London in 1332 and it makes use of elements of Lull’s thought, as well as the alphabets and figures that are used so prominently the Lullian Art - Hence the association by the end of the 14th century. The Testamentum would go on to great fame as one of the top five most foundational textbooks of alchemy alongside texts like the Summa Perfectionis.  The work is divided into theoretical and practical sections along with a final discourse on transmutation.  This is a very, very rare chance to own one of the most important books in alchemical history apparently owned by a historical alchemist.


1573. Testamentum Raymundi. Cologne.  19th century marbled boards, gilt title and author stamp on spine.  Binding solid and covers in nice conditions.  Modern blank with ex libris in ink pen.  231 pages + Figure index + index, with numerous fold-out figures. Typical browning and foxing, wormhole damage to some pages not affecting text. Copious notes and marginalia indicating volume was owned by a practicing alchemist.  Without doubt, one of the most influential alchemical texts of all time: The Testamentum of the Theoretical and Practical Art of Alchemy along with the Compendium on Transmutation in One Volume.   

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