Anonymous, Ymage de vie, plus miscellaneous alchemical receipts

Late 15th century
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Anonymous, <i>Ymage de vie</i>, plus miscellaneous alchemical receipts. Public Domain Mark. Source: Wellcome Collection.

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Anonymous, Ymage de vie, plus miscellaneous alchemical receipts


1. ff. 1r-60r Anonymous Ymage de vie

f. 1r Cy commence le liure appelle ymage de vie trait des secrez des philosophes sur la fleur dalkemie. Cest assauoir sur le elixir de la grantmedecine des philosophes ... f. 60r Et aussi tu trouueras toute la commixtion vraye par la table en la figure que dessus est escripte. deo gratias.

This alchemical text is medical in nature, and its purpose is to assist in producing the elixir for long life. See Geneviève Dumas, 'L'Ymage de vie: un vade-mecum pour réaliser la "perfection des imparfaiz"', in Joël Chandelier, Catherine Verna and Nicolas Weill-Parot (eds), Science et technique au Moyen Âge (XIIe-XVe siècles) (Saint-Denis: Presses universitaires de Vincennes, 2017), pp. 143-73.

ff. 60v-62r blank.

2. ff. 62v-65v Figures of alchemical apparatus.

3. ff. 66r-72v 'Du premier levain', and other receipts and processes, by a different hand.

f. 68r Cy commence la preparation ... f. 72v ... finis laus Deo.

f. 73r-v blank.

ff. 74r-77v Similar receipts, etc., in Latin by another hand. A transcript [19th cent.] of the beginning of the first work (12 ll.) is inserted.


Late 15th century

Physical description

1 volume lxxii ff. + 5 inserted ll. 4to. 20 1/2 x 14 1/2 cm. Limp vellum covers, from a Deed of Sale in Latin, dated 1394. Five unfoliated leaves, written by a different hand, have been inserted between f. xxxviii and f. xxxix; thoe whole MS. has now been refoliated in pencil. The upper part of f. lvi has been cut away, some corners and margins frayed.

Acquisition note

Purchased at Sotheby's 12/5/1914, Lot 15.

Finding aids

Catalogue description modified in 2014. For original description, see S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973).


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Accession number

  • 34197