Opera Mineralia, sive de Lapide Philosophico, by Johannes Isaac Hollandus, chapter two deals with actions involving silver cupeling.
For an Hollandus family introduction and for a De Lapide Philosophico introduction as well as first and previous chapter. Translation from latin has been performed by myself, as verbatim as possible. Hollandus inspite of, or because of, his practical simplicity makes things difficult, omitting passages and using ambiguous terms. So do not expect a stylish page.
Liber Primus, First Book.
Opus Primis Ordinis. Work of First Order.
Cupel is a shallow, porous container in which gold or silver can be refined or assayed by melting with a blast of hot air, which oxidizes lead or other base metals. Cupeling, assay or refine (a metal) in such a container, separation between two or more metals in liquid state, it all relies on the different affinity to O2 which transforms the most reactive ones into oxides. The more used cupeling example is that of separation between silver and argentiferous lead; Luna or Moon may be a synonym for metallic silver ( rule of three admits at least for three different meanings). Indeed the term “cupeled” here refers quite surely to a metal. Silver. In fact we can reduce it in foils:
See an Opus Magnum scheme. But let’s go on.
“you have to reduce it ( silver) in slight foils and calcine/calcinate with common salt prepared as afore mentioned (in chap 1), for three days, which Salt you wash with great care in aqua calida or fiery water;”
Salt, acetum, vinegar, fiery water, aqua calida, calces may also be synonymous for Mercurius Philosophorum. Sometimes Hollandus uses them in a common chemical sense and sometimes in an alchemical one. Comprehension is up to the reader. This is one of Hollandus family drawbacks. Since they do not employ standard complicated hermetic wording. Note that, as a matter of fact, Hollandus writes Salt in Capital S. Common salt prepared for three days long cannot be anymore the entering salt. Here the reading of first chapter may be essential.
Calcino was a verb coined in medieval age latin. Romans strangely enough did not use it. So latin dictionaries do not provide the lemma. Consequently we are not allowed to know if this verb is transitive or intransitive. Hollandus here uses it in a case other than object-accusative. Calcine, chemically reduce, oxidize, or desiccate by roasting or strong heat. Alchemically Secret Fire is also considered a terrifying fire to cook or calcine. Alchemists do cook with the whole range of fires they can rely on. As a matter of fact calx, calcis in latin means also culmination, finish. Calcination is an alchemical ubiquitous operation: fixation of volatile is involved. In Alchemy we have a a lot of phases in which volatile substances must be made more handling. Nevertheless do not expect the exhausting operations Hollandus is describing are the easiest and direct ways to fixation.