18th century

Emblems from Sammlung unterschiedlicher bewährter chymischer Schriften, Johannes Isaac Holladus & Michael Sendivogius, 1746, including The Hand of the Philosophers and a Globus cruciger. Source: Embassy of the Free Mind

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Emblems from a German Alchemical Manuscript, Fidelis Werner, 1794. Source: University of Freiburg

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Emblems from Sammlung Alchymistischer Schriften (Collection of Alchemical Writings), 18th Century. The different colors and symbolic images represent stages of the alchemical process, and the composition acts as a guide for the process as a whole. Source: John Rylands Library

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Pages from The Complaint, and the Consolation ; Or, Night Thoughts by Edward Young, 1797. Source: The John Rylands Library

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An illustration of a witches sabbath with the Devil seated in the center from Laurent Bordelon’s satirical work A History of the Ridiculous Extravagancies of Monsieur Oufle, 1710. Similar to Don Quixote, the titular character reads too many books, in this case books on “Magick, the Black-Art, Daemoniacks, Conjurers, Witches etc”, and it rots his brain, causing him to have fantastic delusions. Image: University of Glasgow Library. Full French text: archive.org


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Pendants like these, carved from ivory or bone, represent characters in proverbs from Bwami, an educational system that taught the values of the Lega people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They were owned by men and women of the highest ranks of Bwami, who were the intellectual, moral, and political elite. Source: National Museum of African Art, Late 18th Century

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Diagrams of Alchemical Processes from Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln, Anonymous, ca. 1700. From Manly P Hall’s Collection of Alchemical Manuscripts, Box 4.MS 19.Vol 2

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Title page of De Arte divina & sacra, sine Aenigmate tradita & del praxin conscripta by Anonymous, ca. 1700. At the top of the painting you can see the Greek God Hermes, representing the element Mercury, the peacock representing the end of the Nigredo stage, and the element of air, represented by the faces blowing. From Manly P. Hall’s collection of alchemical manuscripts Box 3, MS 14

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Drawings from F. de La Rose-croix by Anonymous, circa 1700. Alchemy is sometimes referred to as ‘The Language of Birds’ due to different birds representing different stages in the alchemical process. Source: Manly P. Hall’s Collection of Alchemical Manuscripts Box 5

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Umibozu is a sea monster yokai who creates storms and breaks ships. Often appearing at night, the yokai will sometimes request a barrel from sailors, who would give a bottomless barrel so it wouldn’t drown them. In some regions, fishers sacrificed their first catch to the gods to prevent Umibozu’s appearance. Images: Bakemono no e, 18th Century & The sailor Tokuso and the sea monster by Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1845

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Drawings and watercolor paintings of sacred geometry from Cabala, Unknown Author, 1700. The manuscript contains 13 images, a holy number that represents the oneness of God for the Jewish people, with no accompanying text, and prominently features a Star of David or hexagram. From: Manly P. Hall’s Collection of Alchemical Manuscripts, Box 17 MS 71

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Louis Feuillée, a French explorer, botanist, astronomer, and geographer discoverd this curious creature in Buenos Aires during his journey to South America between 1707 – 1711. The monster was born of a ewe and had a “…contrast of three resemblances which it had, that of a child, a horse, and a calf” Source: Wikimedia Commons

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