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A Note On Condition of Books

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AL1. Anonymous, The Lives of Alchemystical Philosophers; with a critical catalogue of books in Occult Chemistry and a selection of the most celebrated treatises on the Theory and Practice of the Hermetic Art, 1815, Watkins 1955, 8vo, black buckram with gilt titles to spine and front board, 384 + 2pp, edition limited to 250 copies, this one unnumbered. Often attributed to Francis Barrett, but without firm foundation, although it does resemble his style in that the contents of the book are largely drawn from earlier sources; but the real value of this work lies not so much in the lives themselves, but in the alchemical treatises, many of which are difficult to find elsewhere and were omitted entirely from Waite’s 1888 reissue. Spine very slightly faded, a few faint marks to boards, edges of text block slightly spotted, minor light foxing to end papers and a very few margins, neat ink underlining to a couple of sentences on one page, text otherwise clean and tight. A near very good copy of this scarce first facsimile edition £65

AL4. Cotnoir, B, The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy, 1st edition, Weiser 8vo pbk. 2006, reprinted, 128pp, with illustrations in the text, edited and with an introduction by James Wasserman. A sound introduction to practical laboratory alchemy based on 30 years research. Minor rubbing to edges of covers, internally clean and tight. Very good + £6

AL5B. Fernando, D, The Dictionary of Alchemy, 1st edition, Vega 8vo pbk. 2002, 192pp, with illustrations in the text. A popular A-Z of alchemical terms and personalities. A couple of trivial marks to covers, tiny soil mark to fore-edge of text block, contents clean and tight. Near fine £3.50

AL06. Hamilton-Jones, J.W (editor), Bacstrom’s Alchemical Anthology, 1st edition, Watkins 1960, Cr8vo, blue cloth with gilt titles to spine, 152pp, with a frontispiece and one further plate, edition limited to 500 copies. Although spanning the 18th and 19th centuries, none of Bacstrom’s work was published during his lifetime. This essay on the processes of the alchemical art is the first public publication of any of his works, edited by Jones from manuscript copies, and augmented by extracts from the work of other early alchemists. Light soiling to edges of text block, minor spotting to end papers, nice previous owner’s book plate to front end paper, contents otherwise clean and tight. A very good copy of this uncommon first issue in like (a little minor soiling, tiny nick to foot of rear panel without loss) d/w £60

AL9. Pernety, A-J, An Alchemical Treatise on the Great Art, 1898, Weiser, 1995, 8vo, black cloth with gilt titles to spine, 12 + 255pp including index, with a frontispiece together with diagrams and other illustrations in the text (some full page), edited by Edouard Blitz, with a new foreword by Todd Pratum written specially for this issue, number 441 of a hand numbered, limited edition of 750 copies. An interesting study, but one whose authenticity was doubted by alchemical scholar J.W Hamilton Jones claiming that Blitz compiled the work from many others and that therefore to refer to it as a single treatise on alchemy was misleading. Increasingly uncommon in this limited issue, near fine in very good (a little creasing to edges, tiny scuff to rear panel) d/w £45

AL10. (Thomas Aquinas), Aurora Consurgens, 1st American edition, Pantheon Books 1966, large 8vo, red cloth with gilt titles to spine, top edge stained red, 16 + 555pp including indices. A document attributed to Thomas Aquinas, and dealing with the problem of opposites in alchemy, edited and with a commentary by Marie-Louise Franz, the text standing as a companion to C.G Jung's Mysterium Coniunctiosis. Minor soiling and previous owner’s signature to front end paper otherwise near fine in near very good (some light wear to edges, a couple of minor marks, some light staining to top of rear panel,  spine panel very slightly darkened) d/w. The scarce first issue, now increasingly scarce in the dust wrapper £75