On the Sublimation of Mercury. Here Carlo Lancillotti knowingly borders on Alchemy. Farmaceutica Antimoniale Trionfo del Mercurio, third book.
In these 10 chapters on mercury sublimation the title Triumph of Mercury achieves its goal. The part Lancillotti gives more importance is the fifth chapter, which is accompanied by the side note Detractors of mercury did not know the philosophical arcane. After the process exposition he lets Quercetanus to comment in his place.
The proceedings presented below may have much in common with the alchemical first works, or preparatory works.
My translation from Farmaceutica Antimoniale Trionfo del Mercurio, 1683, third book:
“Chapter 1: First Common Sublimation.
Take some roman vitriol, common salt, and mercury in equal parts one pounds, incorporate everything and amalgamate with little vinegar, place in a suitable bowl to sublime with its hat, and container giving scalar fire until all the water is out and after increase the fire till is all sublimated, and then to get it purer and more crystalline it will be sublimed again with one pound of common salt, and vitriol four ounces, and the third time it will be sublimed only with salt, and the reader is warned that the salts has to be decrepitated and the vitriol dried.
Chapter 2 Second Sublimation.
Take mercury one pound, vitriol four ounces, salt armoniac four ounces, rock salt four ounces, wet all with vinegar and mix together into a marble mortar, then place in a bowl with hat, and container, then distilled the vinegar the hat’s pipe must be very well closed to prevent air from enter, then get the mercury to sublime increasing the fire, and you will have a clear like a crystal sublimed.
Chapter 3. Third Sublimation.
Get the mercury calcined or dissolved into strong water (made from one part of niter and two parts of vitriol) and then distill the water and take the precipitated get mixed with a lot of vitriol, dried, and common decrepitated salt in equal parts as must as the quicksilver did weigh, put in a bowl to sublime according to the art, and then mix again with salt a quarter of its weight, as said above, and it will sublime for the second time, and this is the best sublimed to be used in medicine.
Chapter 4: Fourth Sublimation with the Regulus of Antimony.
Take of purged mercury and regulus of antimony in equal parts one pound, “rubificato” vitriol (1) eight ounces, decrepitated salt (2) one pound, get all smashed and place into a “sagiolo” (probably a flask for sublimation), putting on two or three pounds of strong water, and then sublime according to the art, then again take the sublimed, and the caput mortuum, and again, mix together, and sublime, and repeat the said operation for the third time, and this sublimed is very good to get the sweet mercury in place of the usual one.
Take well purged mercury, that’s to say extracted from cinnabar and dissolve into aqua fortis strong water made from saltpeter and vitriol in equal parts, and let precipitate by distilling, into a retort with container, separate the sublimed portion, and powder the precipitate, and join as much decrepitated salt (see end note 2) and vitriol rubificato (see end note 1) as mercury’s weight, I mean if the mercury did weigh one pound of vitriol and one pound of salt then put all to sublime according to the art, gathering the aqua fortis-strong water, which will distill, and take the sublimed and powder it and add calcined tartar and quicklime in equal parts and place into a retort and distill fitting a half water container where the living mercury will be distilled inside, which again will be distilled in aqua fortis, or the mentioned mercury will be taken, decrepitated salt, vitriol rubificato in equal parts and for every pound of mercury four ounces of saltpeter, mix all together in a marble mortar, having first slightly diluted the mercury with the said aqua fortis, and put all the things united into a bowl with heat to sublime, and after having sublimed get back again with tartar, and sublime as above to rectify the mercury, which again will be sublimed as said above, and repeating that sublimation, and regeneration up to nine times, which has to be kept sublimed, which it will be then philosophical as with happiness it will be ready to be used in every operation, as this is the real philosophical sublimed as Quercetanus says in his Tetrad. From his words the adept can imagine how much in esteem he should have mercury, as from it he can really have whatever he wishes.
Quercetanus in his Tetrad says the following latin words: Mercurius autem item tribus medis redditur philosophicus sublimatione, precipitatione, distillatione.………..Mercury can be made Philosophicus with three operations, that’s to say Sublimation, Precipitation, Distillation, and all these operations are found in this recipe and to better authenticate my own opinion on the matter I will quote what Quercetanus says further on essentialized mercury from the doctrine of Paracelsus tome 6 page 29: “Essensificatus Mercurius ex Paracelsi doctrina sit reiteratis sublimationibus ex vitriolo et sale……. They are repeated sublimation from vitriol to resurrect it and take it to the highest perfection and strength. Certain sublimations carry the quicksilver to the supreme purity rising from black and removing impurities, by means of these sublimations it get soaked with sulfur and fire and all effective and admirable celestial properties that make it really philosophical, the real metallic vinegar of philosophers is output and transforms the Sun and the Moon in their first matter, nature of spirits with their vital radical bodies and seminal humors, that holds fiery and sulphureous nature (which philosophers have much hidden). I even add this essentialized and exalted mercury to get dissolved in philosophical vinegar, where the Sun is dissolved in due philosophical proportion. And then it will be separated from menstruum, after that with the art of sublimation separated from the wet, which is why the mercury will be adorned in the purple robe of the Sun (3), life of the Sun which transfers the power to accomplish the magisterium and perfectly clean any body. Even in mercury there is latently the nature of the Sun, which can accordingly be fixed, coagulated, frozen in crystalline hardness especially with the right weight of metallic and flowing waters, or roughly pushed to force the contrary so extinguished and mixed to the womb to have no slightest substance of these particle lost or diminished” ( it is not difficult here to distinguish all our first work operations, with the sublimations necessary to volatilize salts and coming out of the dark phase, the fixation by gold, the removing of excessive humidity).
“Side note “Detractors of mercury did not know the philosophical arcane”.
Take of purged mercury three ounces, of sublimed four ounces, get all ground in a marble mortar, till no living mercury will appear, and then put into a subliming vessel to sublime at sand heat, and once sublimed, separate the crystalline part, and white from dark soot, from feces found in the bottom then again occur to sublime for the second time and again for the third and fourth if necessary, and in the case the sublimed mercury is insipid and without sharpness, don’t get any further with sublimations, as it will alienate the purging nature.”