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Detailed record for Harley 3469

Title Splendor Solis (an alchemical treatise)
Origin Germany
Date 1582
Language German
Script Gothic
Decoration 22 full page miniatures of alchemical subjects in colours and gold with full borders (ff. 2, 4, 7, 10, 13v, 15, 16v, 18, 19v, 20v, 21v, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30v, 31v, 32v, 33v). Very large calligraphic initials in gold. Capitals marked in gold.
Dimensions in mm 320 x 220 (190 x 150)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 2*+ 3*+ 49 (+ 2 unfoliated parchment flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Red leather with gold tooling; endpapers of pink silk; gilt edges.
Provenance Charles II, king of England (b. 1630, d. 1685): a manuscript similar to the Harley 3469 was seen by John Evelyn in the Whitehall Palace library, according to his diary entry for 2 September 1680, being described by him as follows: "There is also the Processe of the Philosoph[e]rs greate Elixir, represented in divers pieces of incomparable miniature; but the Discourse is in high-Dut[c]h & a MSS' (see Wright (1972), p. 102).
Johann Cyprianus (b. 1642, d. 1723), German theologian: inscribed with his name (f. 3* ).
Mrs Priemer, niece of Johann Cyprianus: inscribed with her name by Edward Harley (f. 3*).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts.
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
The date 1582 is inscribed in gold in a roundel on f. 15 and on blocks of stone on ff. 27, 28.
The text of the Splendor Solis is largely based on a German translation of the Aurora consurgens.
The text was previously attributed to the legendary figure Salomon Trismosin.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3469.

Salomon Trismosin, Splendor Solis, translated by Julius Kohn (London: Kegan Paul, 1920) [an English translation of Harley 3469 with black and white plates of the miniatures].

Eric John Holmyard, Alchemy (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1957), p. 158, pls. 30-32.

Deutsche Handschriften in England, ed. by Robert Priebsch, 2 vols in 1 vol (Hildesheim: Olms, 1979, first publ. Erlangen: Junge, 1896-1901), II: Das British Museum mit einem anhang über die Guildhall-Bibliothek, no. 26.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 102, 122, 278.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Page: Ten Centuries of Manuscript Painting in the British Library (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), no. 212.

Joseph L. Henderson and Dyane N. Sherwood, Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Alchemy of the Splendor Solis (Hove: Brunner-Routledge, 2003) [includes an English translation of Harley 3469, and colour plates of the miniatures].

Jörg Völlnagel, Splendor solis oder Sonnenglanz: Studien zu einer alchemistischen Bilderhandschrift (Berlin: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2004).

Sandy Feinstein, 'Horsing Around: Framing Alchemy in the Manuscript Illustrations of the Splendor Solis', Sixteenth Century Journal, 37.3 (2006), 673-99.

Joe Flatman, Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2009), pls 115, 116.

Splendor Solis (Barcelona: M. Moleiro, 2010) [facsimile with a commentary volume].

Jörg Völlnagel, 'Harley MS. 3469: Splendor Solis or Splendour of the Sun - A German Alchemical Manuscript', Electronic British Library Journal (2011), article 8.


Images
* * *
 
Blank folio

front end leaf i verso
Blank folio
Blank folio

front end leaf ii verso
Blank folio
Blank folio

back end paper xviii verso
Blank folio
 
Back end paper

back end paper xix verso
Back end paper
Inside front cover

inside front cover
Inside front cover
Front end leaf

front end leaf i
Front end leaf
 
Front end leaf

front end leaf ii
Front end leaf
Blank folio

back end paper xviii
Blank folio
Back end paper

back end paper xix
Back end paper
 
Inside back cover

inside back cover
Inside back cover
Front cover and spine

front cover and spine
Front cover and spine
Back cover

back cover
Back cover
 
Calligraphic initial

f. 1
Calligraphic initial
Later inscription

f. 1* verso
Later inscription
Blank folio

f. 1*
Blank folio
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 1v
Calligraphic initials
Two men conversing

f. 2
Two men conversing
Sun

f. 2
Sun
 
Monkey playing lute

f. 2
Monkey playing lute
A monkey playing a lute

f. 2
A monkey playing a lute
Blank folio

f. 2* verso
Blank folio
 
Later inscription

f. 2*
Later inscription
Calligraphic initials

f. 2v
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 3
Text page
 
Blank folio

f. 3* verso
Blank folio
Later inscription

f. 3*
Later inscription
Text page

f. 3v
Text page
 
Man in a red robe

f. 4
Man in a red robe
Calligraphic initials

f. 4v
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 5
Text page
 
Text page

f. 5v
Text page
Calligraphic initials

f. 6
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 6v
Text page
 
A knight with a drawn sword

f. 7
A knight with a drawn sword
A knight with a drawn sword

f. 7
A knight with a drawn sword
Calligraphic initials

f. 7v
Calligraphic initials
 
Text page

f. 8
Text page
Text page

f. 8v
Text page
Text page

f. 9
Text page
 
Text page

f. 9v
Text page
King and queen

f. 10
King and queen
Calligraphic initials

f. 10v
Calligraphic initials
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 11
Calligraphic initials
Calligraphic initials

f. 11v
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 12
Text page
 
Text page

f. 12v
Text page
Text page

f. 13
Text page
Mining for gold

f. 13v
Mining for gold
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 14
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 14v
Text page
A man on a ladder

f. 15
A man on a ladder
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 15v
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 16
Text page
A drowning king

f. 16v
A drowning king
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 17
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 17v
Text page
Winged queen.

f. 18
Winged queen.
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 18v
Calligraphic initials
Text page with flourishes

f. 19
Text page with flourishes
A two-headed winged figure

f. 19v
A two-headed winged figure
 
A two-headed winged figure

f. 19v
A two-headed winged figure
Calligraphic initials

f. 20
Calligraphic initials
A man with a sword

f. 20v
A man with a sword
 
A man with a sword

f. 20v
A man with a sword
Calligraphic initials

f. 21
Calligraphic initials
A man bathing

f. 21v
A man bathing
 
A man bathing

f. 21v
A man bathing
Calligraphic initials

f. 22
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 22v
Text page
 
Scenes of daily life

f. 23
Scenes of daily life
Scenes of daily life

f. 23
Scenes of daily life
Calligraphic initials

f. 23v
Calligraphic initials
 
Three birds in a flask

f. 24
Three birds in a flask
Calligraphic initials

f. 24v
Calligraphic initials
Three-headed bird in a flask

f. 25
Three-headed bird in a flask
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 25v
Calligraphic initials
Three-headed dragon

f. 26
Three-headed dragon
Calligraphic initials

f. 26v
Calligraphic initials
 
A queen

f. 27
A queen
Calligraphic initials

f. 27v
Calligraphic initials
A peacock

f. 28
A peacock
 
Peacock

f. 28
Peacock
Amorous couples

f. 28
Amorous couples
Calligraphic initials

f. 28v
Calligraphic initials
 
A young king

f. 29
A young king
Calligraphic initials

f. 29v
Calligraphic initials
Calligraphic initials

f. 30
Calligraphic initials
 
A black sun (sol niger)

f. 30v
A black sun (sol niger)
Calligraphic initials

f. 31
Calligraphic initials
Children at play

f. 31v
Children at play
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 32
Calligraphic initials
Women washing clothes

f. 32v
Women washing clothes
Calligraphic initials

f. 33
Calligraphic initials
 
The sun

f. 33v
The sun
Calligraphic initials

f. 34
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 34v
Text page
 
Text page

f. 35
Text page
Calligraphic initials

f. 35v
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 36
Text page
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 36v
Calligraphic initials
Calligraphic initials

f. 37
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 37v
Text page
 
Blank folio

f. 38
Blank folio
Calligraphic initials

f. 38v
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 39
Text page
 
Text page

f. 39v
Text page
Text page

f. 40
Text page
Text page

f. 40v
Text page
 
Text page

f. 41
Text page
Calligraphic initials

f. 41v
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 42
Text page
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 42v
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 43
Text page
Text page

f. 43v
Text page
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 44
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 44v
Text page
Text page

f. 45
Text page
 
Text page

f. 45v
Text page
Calligraphic initials

f. 46
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 46v
Text page
 
Calligraphic initials

f. 47
Calligraphic initials
Text page

f. 47v
Text page
Text page

f. 48
Text page
 
British Museum stamp

f. 48v
British Museum stamp
Foliation

f. 49
Foliation
Blank folio

f. 49v
Blank folio
 

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