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Catalogue: Alchemy

Blue arrow pointing to the right [Alchemical Fragment]   (MS A 89, item [b])

An unidentified alchemical fragment, without title or author.

No other copy has been identified.

Physical Description

Arabic. 3 pages (Preliminary pp. [9-11]). Dimensions 21.5 x 14.5 (text area 16.5 x 8) cm; 11 lines per page.

The copy is undated, but probably was transcribed shortly after the other items in the volume, which were copied between 1196 and1198 H (= 1782-1784).

The text was copied by a different hand than prepared the other items in the volume. It is written in a medium-large North African (Maghribi) script using black ink. The text area is not frame-ruled.

The volume has been paginated rather than foliated, with the pages numbered every other one, beginning with item 1.

The coarse ivory paper has vertical laid lines single chain lines, and watermarks (three large lunar crescents). The paper is lightly soiled with thumbing and worm-eaten. The edges has been trimmed from their original size to fit the binding. The same paper was used for all three main items in the volume.

The volume consists of 293 pages and 13 preliminary pages (Preliminary pages [6-7] and [12-13] are blank; numbered pages 182-184, 256, 272, 291, and 293 are blank). Item 1 (pp. 1-181) contains a treatise on sexual hygiene, al-Raw al-yāni‘ fī akām al-tazwīj wa-ādāb al-majāmi‘, by al- Tamakrūtī (MS A 89, item 1), and item 2 (pp. 185-255) is Kitāb al-Īā fīi asrār al-nikī by al-Shayzarī (MS A 89, item 2). The 3rd item (pp. 257-290) is the anonymous general treatise on magical medicine, al-Manāfi‘ al-bayyinah wa-mā yailu bi-al-arba‘ah al-azminah (MS A 89, item 3). Preliminary pp. [1-5] contain anonymous magical procedures and invocations useful for illness, dated 1198 [= 1783-1784] (MS A 89, item[a]); preliminary pp. [9-11] consist of the unidentified alchemical fragment here catalogued. Page 292 contains a protective invocation. Preliminary p. [7] is blank except for a two-line casual note.


The volume is bound in green/black marbled paper over red leather over pasteboards front and back covers and envelope flap. There is a red leather spine and doublures of yellow/blue/green/red printed paper. There are plain paper endpapers.


The volume was purchased in 1941 by the Army Medical Library from A. S. Yahuda (ELS 2366; Med. 372?) who acquired it in Tangier, Morocco.


Schullian/Sommer, Cat. of Incun. & MSS., entry A89, pp. 327-8. The item not mentioned.

NLM Microfilm Reel: FILM 48-129 no. 6

Welcome Getting started Medieval Islam Catalogue Bio-bibliographies Glossary Abbreviations Credits About the Author Concordances A 1 - A 29 A 30 - A 59 A 60 - A 89 A 90 - A 92 P 1 - P 29 Authors, Translators & Commentators Copyists & Illustrators Owners & Patrons