Lot 5 of 302:
Splendor Solis - facsimile of Harvey MS 3469  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$780
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Splendor Solis

Trismosis, Salomon


M. Moleiro



[3], 49 leaves. Facsimile of the Harley MS. 3469 in the British Library. 22 facsimiles from paintings. 32x22 cm (12¼x8¾"), full red leather bordered in gilt with gilt armorial emblem, raised bands, gilt dentelles, moiré silk endpapers, all edges gilt; presented in publisher's leather-covered clamshell box ornately decorated in gilt, raised bands. No. 680 of an edition limited to 987 copies.

Presented with Splendor Solis: Harley Ms. 3469 edited by Manuel Moleiro. Introduction by Jörg Völlnagel with essays  by Thomas Hofmeier and Peter Kidd. Translation of the text by Joscelyn Godwin. 182 pp. Red cloth lettered in gilt, jacket. Splendor Solis ("The Splendour of the Sun") is a version dated around 1582 of the well-known, beautifully illuminated alchemical text attributed to Salomon Trismosin.

The earliest version, written in Central German, is dated 1532–1535 and is housed at the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin at the State Museums in Berlin. It is illuminated on vellum, with decorative borders like a book of hours, beautifully painted and heightened with gold. The later copies in London, Kassel, Paris and Nuremberg are equally fine. In all twenty versions exist worldwide.
The original of Splendor Solis which contained seven chapters appeared in Augsburg. In miniatures the works of Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein and Lucas Cranach were used. The author of the manuscript was considered to be the legendary Salomon Trismosin, allegedly the teacher of Paracelsus though the name is thought to be a pseudonym. The work itself consists of a sequence of 22 elaborate images, set in ornamental borders and niches. The symbolic process shows the classical alchemical death and rebirth of the king, and incorporates a series of seven flasks, each associated with one of the planets. Within the flasks a process is shown involving the transformation of bird and animal symbols into the Queen and King, the white and the red tincture. Although the style of the Splendor Solis illuminations suggest an earlier date, they are quite clearly of the 16th century.

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