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Mysterious characters on a Barchusen engraving
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adammclean
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 Posted: Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 07:40 pm
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The first engraving in J.C Barchusen's Elementa Chemicae, 1719, has at its centre a stylised Divine or cosmic cloud. In the centre of this is what appears to be a four lettered word. I always have read that as "mens", but obviously this was just my brain correcting the jumble of characters. A contact has asked me to read these characters but having puzzled a bit over this I find it impossible to come to a clear solution.

The nearest I can get is to read the  character on the right as a stylised "yod", followed by a "heh", then an obscure character, and another stylised "heh". 
However, I feel this is rather stretching what can be seen on the engraving.  Barchusen's engraver does not seem to be familiar with Hebrew and makes a bit of a mess of  some other Hebrew in the engraving.

I wonder if anyone can make sense of this.

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barchusen.jpg

Paul Ferguson
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 Posted: Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 01:23 am
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See about a third of the way down this page for plate 78 of the same text (in a different edition?), which seems to shed some light:

http://www.nachtkabarett.com/SmashingPumpkins/Machina/ArtworkXI-XVI?PHPSESSID=0230070a279a322541081a6b26f7c27a

= Hebrew word for love: AHAVA????

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sp_nk_spflask5(sm).jpg

Last edited on Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 01:28 am by Paul Ferguson


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