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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 41, October 11, 2009, Article 17

CONTRIBUTIONS OF ALCHEMY TO NUMISMATICS

While searching for other things I happened across the Google Books version of Contributions of Alchemy to Numismatics By Henry Carrington Bolton. The work was originally published in the American Journal of Numismatics and reprinted in 1890 in an edition of 175 copies. Google scanned the University of Michigan's copy. Here's one excerpt. Are any of our readers familiar with the coins and medals discussed in the book? Interesting! -Editor

Contributions of Alchemy to Numismatics

An Augustinian monk named Wenzel Seyler, a native of Bohemia, visited Vienna in 1675, and securing an interview with the reigning Emperor, Leopold I, son of Ferdinand III, accomplished in his presence a successful projection. He converted a copper vessel which had been brought to him into gold. He also changed tin into gold, and from the precious metal the Emperor caused ducats to be struck, stamped only on one side ; these bore on the obverse a portrait bust of the Emperor with the words: Leopoldus D.[ei] G.[ratia] R.[omanorum] I.[mperator] s.[emper] A. [ugustus] G.[ermanl«] H.[ungari/e] E. [t] B.[oheml/e] R.[ex] (Leopold, by the grace of God, the ever august Emperor of the Roman Empire, King of Germany, Hungary and Bohemia.) On the reverse the year 1675, and the couplet:

"Aus Wenzel Seyler's Pulvers Macht Bin Ich Von Zinn zu Gold Gemacht."

which may be paraphrased thus :

"By Wenzel Seyler's aid, Leopold Transmuted me from tin to gold."

Pretty good trick, huh? The best I can do is convert burritos into noxious fumes (ask my wife).

The above image is the only one I saw in the book. It's on the frontispiece, and although the date is 1675 it doesn't correspond to the piece mentioned in the excerpt. -Editor

To read the book, see: Google Books: Contributions of Alchemy to Numismatics

Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
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