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A Magical and Amuletic Scroll of Franz Anton Buechler

MAGICAL AND AMULETIC SCROLL OF FRANZ ANTON BUECHLER, in Latin with some words in German, illuminated manuscript scroll on paper [Germany, 17th century].

Estimate GBP 25,000 - GBP 35,000 and Sold for GBP 40,000 at CHRISTIE.

A magical scroll containing sigils and incantations – drawn from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa’s De Occulta Philosophia and Johann Baptista Großchedel's ‘Magical Calendar’, as well as medieval grimoires and the Clavicula Salomonis – designed to invoke powerful spiritual and angelic protections for its 17th-century magician (or superstitious) owner, Franz-Anton Buechler.

4280 x 91mm. 14 membranes, 56 amulets and sigils, including a miniature of Moses holding the tablets of the law, the reverse with Biblical readings and prayers calling for protection for the author and owner of the scroll, Franz Anton Buechler (residue of tape on some membranes on reverse, marginal staining and smudging, fraying to paper at edges and extremities, some creasing). Lower membranes mounted on yellow silk.

Provenance: Franz Anton Buechler (17th century): his name appears five times in the text on the reverse of the scroll invoking protection from God, Christ and the Angels.

Content: 56 amulets and sigils, including: first membrane: sigil with the 2-letter name of God, a horned Moses holding the Ten Commandments, ADONAI hexagram amulet and Chi-Rho amulet; second membrane: AGLA amulet, sigils with the 3-letter name of Christ; third membrane: Sator cryptogram and sigils with the 3-letter name of God; fourth-fifth membranes: sigils with the 4-letter (the tetragrammata), the 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10-letter name of God; sixth-eighth membranes: ‘Sigilla Decem Nomina Dei Principalia Complectentia’ (as in British Library, Harley 3420), sigils against the evil-eye and against demons; ninth-tenth membranes: the Eight most Holy Tables of the Fathers (Adam, Moses, Elias, Joshua, Ezechiel, Daniel, Solomon and Jeremiah); eleventh membrane: sigil against thunder and lightning, astrological and numerological diagrams, sigil of the Virgin Mary; twelfth-thirteenth membranes: 'Duo Sacrosancta Pentacula novem Angelorum chorum Sublimis Virtutis', sigils for individual angels; fourteenth membrane: Sator magic square and 'Sigillum Salomonis'.

In medieval ceremonial magic, sigils represented angels and demons which the budding magician might attempt to summon, as a means of exerting power or invoking protection, as seems to be the case in the present manuscript. Buechler's scroll draws from a variety of different texts and grimoires, including the 14th- or 15th-century 'Key of Solomon', one of the fundamental instruction manuals on how to create amulets and perform spells. Buechler must also have been aware of Johannes Theodorus de Bry's Magical Calendar, published in 1617 or 1618, and based on a manuscript by Johann Baptista Großchedel (British Library, Harley ms. 3420 - see C. Gilly, 'The rediscovery of the original of Großchedel's Calendarium Naturale Magicum Perpetuum, Magia, Alchimia, Scienza Dal '400 al '700. L'influsso di Ermete Trismegisto, Florence, 2002, 1, pp. 310-317).