Miracula & Mysteria Chymico-Medica.Wittenberg, C. Berger, 1623.
12mo. 3 parts in 1, pp. , 493, , lacking )(8 blank. Roman letter, some Italic. Title in red and black, within woodcut border, 17 half-page or smaller woodcut alchemical instruments, decorated initials and ornaments. Title a bit soiled, outer margin strengthened, light browning, intermittent mostly marginal foxing (poor paper), slight water stain to lower edge of 3 gatherings. A good copy in black crushed half morocco over marbled boards c.1900, raised bands, spine gilt-lettered, paper label, upper joint repaired, a little rubbed.
A good copy of the fourth edition of this popular, illustrated pocket-size pharmacopoeia. Phillip Müller has remained obscure. Ferguson places him as a physician in Freiburg am Breisgau, though namesake figures are also recorded in Leipzig and Jena (II, 116). The dedicatory letter from Bartholinus refers to Müller as ‘chymiatrus’, which covers physicians, chemists and apothecaries. ‘Miracula’ begins with a section on the preparation of the Philosopher’s Stone, the necessary instruments and materials, the process and its purification. Part II is devoted to three transmutations, with a woodcut alchemical furnace illustrating the phases. Also illustrated, Part III focuses on preparations with vitriol, tartar and arsenic, in the form of balms, oils and powder, to treat specific conditions (e.g., body stains, tumours, ulcers). There is also a recipe for the ‘secretissima’ ‘terra foliata’, from tartar. Part IV explains how to produce distilled waters, balms, salts and tinctures, in ‘very simple’ ways, with woodcut containers illustrating some of the procedures. Part V includes dozens of general remedies, grouped under the condition they are meant to treat: e.g., falling hair, vertigo, epilepsy, memory loss, scrofula, diabetes, kidney stones, gonorrhoea, the conception of twins, podagra and syphilis. For each it provides one or more recipes with short instructions. The following texts were attributed to Müller but are actually by Jean Beguin and Michael Sendivogius. ‘Tyrocinium Chymicum’, which opens with a definition of ‘chymia’, i.e., ‘the art of melting mixed natural bodies, and of coagulating those that have been melt, in order to prepare medicaments’. It continues to explain the various types of chemical processes, provides short recipes for the preparation of waters, oils, etc., and discusses how to extract the quintessence of several substances, e.g., wine or coral. ‘Novum lumen’, which discusses the nature and origin of metals and minerals, putrefaction, the spiritual ‘semen’, the mixture of metals, mineral tinctures and virtues. A most interesting collection of alchemical texts, clearly intended as a ‘vademecum’ for chemists and physicians.USTC 2135740; VD17 23:296409G; Krivatsy 8169; Wellcome IV, 195 (later eds); Caillet 7869 (later ed.): ‘ouvrage rare, que nous ne trouvons dans aucune Bibliographie’; Ferguson II, 116.