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A 12ft 5in x 13in (3.78m x 33cm) long vellum scroll made up of seven conjoined membranes, it includes, to quote the catalogue description, “a host of emblems and colours, some instantly recognisable traditional ones, others embodying complex variations and combinations for those initiated in the mysteries to interpret. Variously representing such things as mercury, sulphur, gold and silver, as well as ‘universal matter’ and the four elements of earth, water, fire and air, the emblems include a king in green, the sun, the moon, a red and a green lion, a bleeding green dragon (shown here), a tree, a serpentine Satan, Adam and Eve, feathers, pillars, arches, a crowned eagle (the ‘bird of Hermes’) and numerous other figures and symbols, as well as laboratory apparatus such as bulbous glass vessels – stills or retorts”.

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