Alchemy discussion forum Home
 Search       Members   Calendar   Help   Home 
Search by username
Not logged in - Login | Register 
Alchemy discussion forum > Request for information > Help required > Help with date of Edward Kelly manuscript

Help with date of Edward Kelly manuscript
 Moderated by: alchemyd  
 New Topic   Reply   Print 
AuthorPost
adammclean
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2009 11:18 pm
 Quote  Reply 
I recently obtained a microfilm of the manuscript of the Edward Kelly Theatrum Astronomiae Terrestriis MS Lat. 16 in Harvard College Library. This is dated in their catalogue to the end of the 16th century and I was hoping this might be contemporary with Kelly, or even the holograph for the book which was not actually printed till 1676. However, as soon as I saw the piece I was not so sure it was an early copy of the work. The pen illustrations were rather poor in quality and appeared to have been copied from the engravings, as they contained a little bit less image information. The engravings are not of good quality and I would have expected the original drawings to have had more detail.

The handwriting seems to me to be late 17th century rather than late 16th - though this is always a difficult matter to judge precisely.

Here are the opening pages of the work. Would anyone care to give a view on the date of this?


(The date shown on the upper left is 1845 - the date when it was gifted to the library.)


Attached Image (viewed 624 times):

02.jpg

Last edited on Mon Feb 23rd, 2009 11:19 pm by adammclean

adammclean
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Mon Feb 23rd, 2009 11:18 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Second pages.

Attached Image (viewed 581 times):

03.jpg

Tom Willard
Member


Joined: Mon May 5th, 2008
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA
Posts: 95
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 05:24 am
 Quote  Reply 
The pages you give show a fluid Italic script which could have been found in England in the late sixteenth century—Gabriel Harvey's marginalia are primarily in Italic—but which was far more common in the seventeenth. Is there any indication that the text belonged to a collection like that of John Winthrop Junior, who purchased many alchemical books and mansucripts? Dr. Robert Childe, "the Remonstrant," supplied many of them, no doubt arranging to have manuscripts copied as needed.

In favour of the Kelley attribution, John Dee used the Paracelsian term "terrestrial astronomy" in his "Monas Hieroglyphica."

Last edited on Tue Feb 24th, 2009 05:26 am by Tom Willard

adammclean
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:41 am
 Quote  Reply 
Regarding a possible John Winthrop Junior/Dr. Robert Childe connection with the manuscript, all I know is that it was gifted to Harvard by Obadiah Rich of London in 1845.

Attached Image (viewed 649 times):

01.jpg

adammclean
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:46 am
 Quote  Reply 
I came across this Catalogue (on sale on Ebay)

MANUSCRIPTS AND PRINTED BOOKS IN POSSESSION OF OBADIAH RICH, ESQ. DEC. 27, 1827. Removed pamphlet. Caption title. 24 pages. (Washington. 1824) Rich was Consul of the U. S. at Valencia.


He was an American collector who died in London.

Attached Image (viewed 509 times):

Obadiah Rich.JPG

Last edited on Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:46 am by adammclean

Paul Ferguson
Member


Joined: Fri Feb 15th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 1495
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 08:53 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Some random comments and questions:

1. How were Harvard able to date the MS so precisely to 1594?

2. The hand is not that of either Kelley or Dee.

3. The hand is quite distinctive - look at the coiled c's, long pointy t-bars and final s's - so should not be too difficult to identify.

4. It looks to me like the hand of a young female - perhaps the erudite Elizabeth Jane Weston, Kelley's stepdaughter (pictured)? I have written to an expert on 'Westonia' at the BL. I will keep you posted.

Attached Image (viewed 490 times):

weston_elizabeth_janex.jpg

Last edited on Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:27 pm by Paul Ferguson

adammclean
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:00 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Paul Ferguson wrote: Some random comments and questions:

1. How were Harvard able to date the MS so precisely to 1594?

I am not sure. Perhaps there will be something in the manuscript. Unfortunately I have a microfilm and I have to scan each frame in order to read it, so this will take a number of hours divided over the next few weeks. I will keep you posted on what I find.
There is a section at the end in French which seems to consist of recipes not printed in the 17th century book.


adammclean
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:05 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Silly me!  The date is under the title.

Attached Image (viewed 556 times):

02+.jpg

Paul Ferguson
Member


Joined: Fri Feb 15th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 1495
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:30 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Looks to me more like 16- something or other

Paul

adammclean
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:33 pm
 Quote  Reply 
I will try scanning it a a higher resolution. It seems to be in pencil of at least not in the same ink as the handwriting, thus I had to upcontrast the image to see it.


adammclean
Member


Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:55 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Here is the date adjusted with three different settings. It does seem possible to read this as 1676 - the date of the printed book.


Attached Image (viewed 542 times):

Kelly manuscript date 1.jpg

Paul Ferguson
Member


Joined: Fri Feb 15th, 2008
Location:  
Posts: 1495
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Feb 24th, 2009 09:59 pm
 Quote  Reply 
Harvard library record says:

"In a vellum binding with date "1594" and medallion portraits of Christ (front) and Mary (back) stamped in gold; in a protective tray case, 21 cm."


 Current time is 10:24 pm




Powered by WowBB 1.7 - Copyright © 2003-2006 Aycan Gulez