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 Moderated by: alchemyd  
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Joined: Fri Sep 14th, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 602
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2011 12:25 pm
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It seems that a number of English alchemists during the last decades of the 17th century were experimenting with a rather toxic menstruum. They thought of this molten material as a sort of womb within which various transmutations could be effected.
The main substances used for this Menstruum appear to be

Orpiment: (auripigment or Arsenic trisulphide) melts around 300 degrees centigrade.
Mercury sublimate: (corrosive sublimate or mercuric Chloride) melts around 280 degrees centigrade.
Antimony: melts around 630 degrees centigrade.

As far as I understand Orpiment and Mercury sublimate readily fuse together and form a molten mass above 300 degrees, easily reached in crucible on an open fire. I am not so sure about the addition of Antimony to this molten mixture. If it were powdered then it should fuse together somewhat below 600 degrees.

This toxic, seething, molten mass, seems to have been used as a menstruum or transformatory vehicle for supposed transmutations. It is mentioned by a number of late 17th century alchemists working in England.

Does anyone have any information on this "menstruum"? Are there any scholarly studies of this way of working?

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