Chapter XX. Diaphoretic Antimony of Basil.
Take some antimony as above, and powdered has to be mixed with as fixed niter the antimony weight, and get it detonated in a crucible, or new pan according to the art, that done take the matter after being cooled down, and crushing it put in a vitrified earthenware over some warm water, and well stir to better extract the nitrous saltiness in so doing the antimony gets sweetened, and then make it get to the bottom, and the water impregnated with the fixed niter has to be empty by tilting ( and you have to conserve it to be then filtered by evaporation, and then crystallized the fixed niter of antimony, the dosage is from one scruple to one drachm) and over pour new water, repeating as many times as the antimony gets totally sweetened, and then while drying it mix it with as niter as the weight, and again for three times the above mentioned operation always detonating, and sweeting, and the third time it will become white and impalpable, after dried and putting the said powder into a bowl with some spirit of wine, closing with a blind helm making it to circulate for one month, and after you will have to burn in the surface of the said spirit three times, into an iron vessel, then clean, and dried put it into a crucible in the fire, for 24 continuing hours, and that powder placed in the hollow of white hard-boiled egg, or on a marble stone, or in sheets or glass plates, in a cellar, or other humid place, and will turn into liquor, and again dried in powder has so many virtues that those who have not tried it find it hard to believe. Dosage of twelve grains in wine or the spirit of wine.
Chapter XXI. Oil of Antimony without addition.
Take some good antimony and subtly grind, and put in a flat bottom cucurbit, pouring over some antimony vinegar increased by its own salt, then well sealed the mouth put it into manure, and in balneum to putrefy for forty days, or until the body is dissolved, and the vinegar turned red like blood and then empty said vinegar by bending and put over again the remaining, other new vinegar as above , and repeat till the vinegar is no more tinted, and so get all said vinegars filtered, and together put together in a glass bowl, sealed as before, put to putrefy as above until you will see the body dissolved by the vinegar is perfectly solute, and the sign will be its turning completely black, the said matter like ink, and the said matter will be put in a bowl with its helm, and distill at moderate fire, and will come out a clear vinegar, and in the bottom will remain an ugly matter which will be crushed, and will be sweetened more and more, washing it with rain water then dried, and put it in a circulating vessel made as below, and having put the figure, to make it clearer. And so placed the said matter into said vessel, if you pour over some very rectified spirit of wine, which overwhelms by three fingers and very well closing the vessel put to circulation fire for two months, and then you will see the spirit of wine to be colored like the vinegar was before, and separated the tinted spirit of wine from the feces, put in a bowl to distill, and will pass with the said spirit the tincture of antimony, and you will see in the helm and container in a beautiful and bright golden color, which the distillation finished it will perish, and inside the bowl will remain few feces, and the red matter, which distilling is passed in the container, you will put to circulate for ten days, which by that circulation the antimony oil will separate placing in the bottom of the spirit of wine, which will float well clear, or white as before, said separation indeed separates with the separatorium the spirit of wine from the antimony oil, which will be of a wonderful sweetness and very tasteful, and the lover of the art is warned that here there is the best of the antimony world and this is what made many authors to write, who have described this operation well shrouded into enigmas, and also our Basilius has clearly exposed and great are its virtues, the operation can be long, nevertheless not too much to achieve that treasure, which being oil make the man as he were born again, and given together with tincture of corals freed from its leprosy removes all hopeless diseases.
The image on the left shows how to distill the Antimony vinegar placed into bowl A and distilled in container B. The pyramid-shaped tool demonstrates the inferno vessel, a glass vessel in the middle of the body like an ampoule, with a little hole where the mercury is put. Take some antimony regulus, and have it subtle ground, and put it in a large glass, to sublimate at moderate sand fire, and the sublimated will remain in the bottom of the vessel, everyday with a feather until all is quiet in the bottom, and that nothing more will sublime, in that moment the regulus will be precipitated by itself, and I warn that before achieving that it will pass a lot of time and one must not be tired and bored, then take the said sublimated, and put it on a marble in a cellar, or other humid place, and in six months time the said precipitated starts to solve in a red liquor, and the feces will remain on the stone, or earth, solving just the salt, filtered the said liquor, put in a bowl to balneum, and extract the phlegm solving till dryness, and filtering, and evaporating, to make it become thicker, or forming a surface film, and then put in a cool place and you will get very beautiful crystals, which have to be separated from the excessive humidity, and repeating the said operation the crystals will be well purified and you will have the real salt of antimony, which will be taken with three parts of Tripoli (!?), and distill at strong fire, so will come out a white spirit, then red, which too will turn white, which you will masterly separate in the balneum, and will keep to the use. The dosage is from two to four drops; it is very good for childbed fever, breaks the verification stone, and purifies the blood in the same way as the salt of gold. It removes many diseases.
Chapter XXIII, 23. Mercurius of Antimony.
Having demonstrated the way to extract the salt and sulphur of antimony, as well as how to reduce them in oil and spirit, so to better serve the medicine, now let’s consider the method, according to our Basilius, of extracting the Mercurius, even if now it can seem quite common to extract the Mercurius (our Mercurius, not the common metallic mercury) from antimony, as from metals, method not taught by Basilius, nevertheless two are the safest and most real recipes, take some regulus of antimony eight parts, purified volatile salt of urine, and sublimated till be very pure, salt armoniac, salt of tartar in equal parts (ana) one part, get the whole mixed, stir well all the said salts and put in a glass vessel soaking with very strong vinegar from wine, and make digest for one month at suitable heat, I warn to very well closed the vessel mouth, and then put the whole in a cucurbit, and have it distilled with vinegar and cinders, and the salts remained in the bottom will mix with three parts of Tripoli, and putting all in a retort, you will distill the spirit at strong fire, and put the spirit over the above mentioned powdered regulus in a glass, closing well, and sealing the mouth, place in balneum or in manure for two months, then distill from it taking away all humidity, and that remaining in the bottom of the vessel you will mix with four parts of steel filings, or clean iron, and put in a luted retort with its container half filled of water, and the spirit of salt will distill, which will taken out the Mercurius in fumes, and get precipitated in the said water.
Chapter XXIV. Mercurius Oil of Antimony.
Take a part of the said Mercurius passed through Camossa. Four parts of rectified vitriol oil are put in the retort, and extract the oil by sand, increasing the fire in the said the last time; it will sublime very much, that taken with that remained in the bottom of the retort will be reduced in powder and put the gain in the retort, and repeat for at least other two times the said operation pouring over new vitriol oil as before, that do take all and crush, and put in a circulating vessel, pouring over as much vitriol oil as above said, and three times as much of spirit of wine, and gets circulating as long as you will see floating above the oil of Mercurius, like olive oil, that do separate the said oil, and place again into a circulating vessel, pouring over some strong distilled vinegar, let in that way for about twenty days, those passed then the oil will achieve its weight, and will fall to the bottom of the vinegar, remained mixed with the vinegar every poison, which was in that.
This oil is admirable for removing your diseases. Kerckringer warns the reader that, reducing the said oil in a fixed tincture, one will have as could want in the world, a few words to the wise.
Chapter XXV. Red Vulnerary Balsam of Antimony.
Take Hungarian antimony one part, common salt half part, and six parts of clay, which is better than common bole, grind the whole and put in a luted retort, then distill at the violent and ceaseless fire, scaling the fire at the start. Oil will distill, separating the phlegm distilling it will remain a red powder in the vessel bottom and placed in the cellar or other humid room, and it will solve in red oil and brightening, which is the most excellent balsam to heal wounds and sores.
Chapter XXVI. Sublimed Antimony Oil.
Take some clear and beautiful sublimated and some antimony in equal parts, reduce in powder, and distill in a retort; when the said oil gets coagulated like butter in the retort neck, you will let fall in the said retort, some burning coals with a clothespin, which with the heat immediately dissolves, and distilled you will rectify three times with the spirit of wine. Still, before that, you have to make it digesting for one month in a warm place, and the oil, which in the beginning was white, and like butter because of this digestion, and rectifications will turn liquid, and red look blood and I warn to change the spirit of wine every time.
Chapter XXVII. Antimony Oil with Addition.
Take one part of antimony, sulfur another part, salt armoniac a half part, quicklime two parts, grind them all and distill at the violent fire, and that which will sublimely grind together with the caput mortuum, pouring over distilled oil distill again, and repeating for three times the said operation the oil will be made, which is very good to heal any wound and sore.
Chapter XXVIII. Another Oil, or Balsam, for Sores.
Take Sulphur four ounces, melt at moderate fire, then which is out fire must be stirred into ( little by little with a wooden spatula), six ounces of common mercury, until a dark mass will form, which cooled down will be reduced in powder, adding after that four ounces of antimony, and four ounces of Risagallo, or two ounces of Crocus of Mars, the whole reduce in very subtle powder and well stirred together put in sublimatorium vessel to sublime according to the Art, and the cinnabar will rise in the form of rubies, which color has nothing to envy to those eastern; but they are not fixed, since if you put them in the fire they will go in fumes, so separate those rubies from cinnabar and powder them put them into a Sagiolo, or bowl with strongly distilled vinegar, you will extract the red color, which removing said vinegar by bending in a bowl in balneum you will extract the vinegar and the rubies will remain in powder in the bowl bottom, which reduced in powder again, put in Sagiolo, and with spirit of wine you will extract the tincture, remaining in the bottom some ugliness, or feces, of the said separated tincture put in a well closed bowl to digest for a month in balneum, and after you will extract the spirit, as I said above for the vinegar, and in the bottom will remain a powder, which you will place in a glass bowl, in a cellar, where there is a water basin, and pour the said bowl into, in that way in a few days the said powder will be solved in a lucid liquor, which is the mentioned balsam, which is the unique for sores.
Chapter XXIX. Antimony Oil against Fevers and Plague.
Subtly powder the antimony, place it in a luted retort with a wide and short neck, and put it into distilling ( without any addition) at the strong fire, fitting to that retort a large container. You will have a red powder, which you will extract with distilled vinegar and circulate said extraction for ten days. You will extract the vinegar by distillation and the remaining in the bottom, and you will distill with the spirit of wine, as before shown. You will distill an oil, which is greatly circulated and separated from the humidity you will keep using. The dosage is four or five grains in holy thistle water. Make sure the patient will be covered to sweat since the said removes every kind of fever, very excellent against plague with the spirit of wine; our Basilius says to have operated real miracles with the said remedy.
Chapter XXX. Another Antimony Oil.
Powder together antimony, sulfur, and saltpeter in equal parts (ana) and put a cooking pot to heat over burning coals, placing a large helm with its container at the beak. The cooking pot is well heated; put a spoonful of the said composition inside and make it detonate. After that, make detonate another till all the matter is finished, and in the container will pass an oil like the common sulfur color, but the virtue is immensely different.
Chapter XXXI. Another.
Take antimony one pound, common salt six ounces, powdered bricks five pounds, and put all in a retort to distill according to the art. The oil you distill has to be rectified, and a powder will remain, which, put on a marble sheet, will resolve in oil, which is very good also for cancers on the face.
Chapter XXXII. Antimony Sulphur.
Antimony one pound, salt armoniac three ounces, or better four, get sublime according to the art. The sublimation has to be powdered, adding five ounces of another antimony. The sublimated has to get washed many times in common water and dried; you will have the sulfur of antimony, which burns like the common sulfur.
Take powdered antimony and have it cooked for two hours in strong lye of soap manufacturers, then pour and filter the decoction. Pour over some vinegar, and it will fall in the bottom red sulfur, which separates from the humidity and gets dry; I warn that from the said sulfur, you can extract the tincture with distilled vinegar, and after having extracted the vinegar you will extract tincture again with the spirit of wine, as said in chapter XVII, 17, you will distill a very precious liquor to heal the ones with tuberculosis and all the lung diseases, but the distilled from the sulfur extracted from the salt armoniac is better.
Chapter XXXIII. Philosophical Vinegar of Antimony.
Raw antimony (minera), that’s to say powdered mineral antimony, six pounds and distilled rain water fourteen pounds, put in a half filled glass cucurbit, and well closed to putrefy in horse manure until the said minera starts to boil, and make foam, then you have to take and put into a cucurbit, or bowl, to distill, very well closing, and sealed the helm joints, as those of the beak and the container mouth, and fit the form, so the beak must touch the water, which will distill inside that container, if not the spirit of antimony gets lost, and when finished all the water distillation, the fire has to be increased till no antimony will remain, the sublimated will be ground together with the feces, and the whole again in the bowl with the distilled water, and repeating this operation for three times, every operation needs three days and three nights on ceaseless fire, released the water, you will have a vinegar as strong as the good distilled vinegar from wine, and so take the said vinegar, and pour over newly powdered minera of antimony, covered by three fingers, and put to digest in warm balneum, or cinders, for twelve days, and the vinegar will tint of red, then decanted and filtered put in a bowl to distill at balneum, and it will get get out clear and beautiful ( and the tincture will remain in the bottom, which extracted with the spirit of wine, is the never enough lauded remedy called by Basilius Life Balsam), which you will rectify at balneum mariae, separating the phlegm and then alkalize with a fourth of the antimony salt, like in chapter XXII, 22.
This vinegar will greatly freeze, unlike the common vinegar, but with great admiration and experience to alleviate the gangrene produced by the gunpowder. In the second part of my Guida alla Chimica, you will find a recipe with balsam, that’s to say, the balsam of Saturn. During the Plague, take a spoonful every time; using it externally should be mixed with sperm of frogs (sic)”.
The previous part at Lancillotti: Glass and Oil according to Currus Thriumphalis. Part 1.
- Verjuice grape, or Agresto, is a grape that never gets ripe, tasting acid. The word agresto derives from the latin acer-acris, sharp, spiked (ancient chemists imagined that acids were such because of the many spiked particles inside;
- See Lancillotti and how to calcine, or powder, metals ;
- See also Lemery and Agua Regia first step: Sal Armoniac and Aqua Regia and Fulminating Gold according to Lemery ;