Catalogue Entry: ALCH00029

Incomplete draft treatise on the sequence of operations to be effected in transmutation.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: Keynes Ms. 40, King's College, Cambridge, UK

[Normalized Text (at Chymistry of Isaac Newton)]

Custodial History

Bought at the Sotheby sale by William H. Robinson for £27. Keynes asked after it on 12 August 1936 and Robinson informed him the next day that it had been sold to Gabriel Wells. Keynes contacted Wells on 8 September and was offered the lot on 11 September for £34.

Sotheby Lot



Drawn from the writings of a range of alchemical authorities.

f. 1r Title page reading only 'Opus primum'.

f. 3r 'Gradus primus/ Extractio et Rectificatio Spiritus'

f. 5r 'Extractio auri vivi, et conjunctio ejus'

f. 9r 'Opus Quintum/ Vivificatio et Putrefactio Terræ foliatæ.'

f. 15r 'Opus Quintum/ Vivificatio et Putrefactio Terræ foliatæ': though the title is identical to the foregoing, the text is quite different.

f. 19r 'Opus sextum./ ffixis in album et rubrum. Conjunctio viri rubri cum fœmina alba, & decoctio ad complementum' (partly in English).

f. 27r 'Opus sextum/ Præparatio Mercurij Vulgaris per Veneris Columbas.'

f. 29r 'Opus septimum/ Solutio Metallorum primo in Mercurium per Mercurium, deinde in aquam [mercur]ialem et compositio mercurij nostri duplati' (partly in English).

f. 31r 'Opus Octavum/ Conjunctio Putrefactio et Regimen Decoctionis'

f. 33r 'Opus Octavum/ Conjunctio Putrefactio et Regimen Decoctionis' (variant draft).

Cf. Keynes Ms. 41, Babson Ms. 417 and Dibner Institute NMAHRB Mss. 1070 A.

© 2024 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL -

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