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Ms Codex 1677 - Ars Artium ... [etc.]

Compare with: Le Livre des Esperitz - Ms. Cambridge, Trinity College O.8.29.

Another New Ms, supplied by my friend Daniel. Another little occult pearl..

- Details: 234 leaves : 159 x 98 (128 x 82) mm. bound to 166 x 110 mm.
- Language: English, Latin, and French, with occasional words in Greek and Hebrew.
- Origin: Written in England in 1787 (note, Fol. 206) or (March 1673 - note, Fol. 1).
- Authors: Dee, John, 1527-1608 / Ashmole, Elias, 1617-1692 / Napier, Richard, 1559-1634.

Formerly owned by Charles Rainsford (British army officer, fellow of the Royal Society, and alchemist); bequeathed by Rainsford to Hugh Percy, Second Duke of Northumberland. Owned by the 2nd through 12th Dukes of Northumberland, ms. 588, Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, 1809-2014 (bookplate, inside upper cover; stamps throughout). Sold at auction at Sotheby's (London), 15 July 2014, as part of Lot 411.

Occult compendium copied and compiled by Charles Rainsford and mainly comprising prayers, lists of divine names for invocations (p. 180-189), and instructions for conjurations taken from works attributed to well-known occultists such as John Dee and Richard Napier.

Practical instructions for conjuring spirits include one experiment for summoning the spirit Askariel so that he appears in a crystal or beryl with a garland of yellow flowers upon his head (p. 52). Another section details preparations to be completed before conducting rituals such as securing a secret room with an eastward-facing window that has been consecrated with frankincense, abstaining from the company of women, eating a spare diet, and dressing oneself in clean clothes (p. 39-40).

A note by Rainsford on p. i states that it is an exact copy of a manuscript that he borrowed from a bookseller for the price of one guinea and that the original had the name Dr. Dee written on it, presumably a reference to John Dee, the 16th century occultist. The last section contains notes regarding the personal papers of alchemist Richard Napier which were bequeathed to fellow occultist Elias Ashmole and which are now housed at the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford.

This section also occasionally makes references to earlier pages in the manuscript (for example, p. 201 refers back to the use of beryls for conjuration on p. 52). Also includes a partial list of contents (p. 190-191).

The first part of the Ms is written in English. Its also contains parts written in French..

Fol. 13 - An experiment in a glafs (glass) of a Vial of ▼ (water).

Fol. 44 - Invocatio pro ALKATES.

Fol. 52 - An excellent & Approved Experiment of ASKARIEL.

Fol. 74 - De Nominibus Dei.

Fol. 77 - A Divine Prayer.

Fol. 105 - Ci commence le Livre des Esprits, lequel fût manifesté au Sage Salomon(1).

(1) Compare to 'Ms. Cambridge, Trinity College O.8.29'.

Fol. 134 - Ici après ensuit(e) le Livre des Conjuration(s)...

Fol. 154 - Cy commence la (?) Oraison par laquelle tout[t]es les beforgnes (besognes) sont accomplies.

Fol. 157 - Cy commence la générale Conjuration  & Invocation des Esprits à les contraindre, à les lyer (lier)...

Fol. 177 - Ensui[l]t la Manière de son (les) apeller...

Fol. 180 - (Figura Circuli).

Fol. 181 - To Constrain Spirits to Appear..

Fol. 185 - The Great Names of God.

Fol. 190 - (Ms) Index..

Fol. 192 - (Ms) Author(s) notes..

NB: Pages 208 to 466 are blank.


- University of Pennsylvania
- Private Collection.
- Ms Supplier: Daniel.C