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German poem on alchemy, in the form of an autobiography

 Single Item
MS. Add. A. 287

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A German poem on alchemy, in the form of an autobiography, consisting of about 4000 rhyming couplets: the first leaf of the text (after fol. 1) appears to be lost: fol. 2 begins' Knadigk zu beschirmen Leib und gutt I Bisz das mich Gott abfoddern thutt ': ends 'Wundt mir nach deiner gutt verleibe | Ewig zu wohnen in dein reich. I Amen.'

The author states that he was born in 1600 and travelled to Vienna (fol. 10v).

There are twenty-three coloured drawings of an alchemist, his workshop and instruments, his results and visions: on fol. 1v is a coloured drawing of a Calvary near the sea, under which an annotator of the whole volume (about A. D. 1700) has written 'Hammersthal Detngetrijser'; cf. fol. 3v : there are at least two Ammer rivers in South Germany.


  • written in the 17th century


151 Leaves

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Add. A. 287, fols. 1-2]
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MS. Add. A. 287

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 19909


German poem on alchemy, in the form of an autobiography, written in the 17th century.

Biographical / Historical

Biographical details unknown.

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. V, no. 29493.

Custodial History

Owned by J. W. H. Knebel in 1764.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought from Charles Lowe, bookseller of Birmingham, on Jan. 20, 1885, for £2 2s.

Physical Facet

On paper, with coloured illustrations.


8 5/8 × 6 1/8 in.
German poem on alchemy, in the form of an autobiography
EAD version 2020 by Pauline Soum-Paris
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom