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Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 348

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Description: DISPENSING THE "PHILOSOPHER'S STONE" IN REVOLUTIONARY FRANCE
Intriguing early scientific manuscript D.S. 1p. legal folio, Paris, Jan. 20, 1793, in which the son of chemist Claude-Hughes Lelièvre (1752-1835), a geologist and mineraologist put in charge of the laboratory of Money during the Revolution, reveals and donates to Paris free of charge his father's formulation of the "Elixir of Life" ("Beaume de vie"), a.k.a. The Philosopher's Stone, the legendary alchemical substance capable of turning base metal into gold. Little is known of Lilièvre's work save that he was a geologist and minerologist who wrote an article with the better-known chemist and geologist Jean Darcet on soap-making. Signed at conclusion by several individuals, one of whom may be STANISLAS-MARIE MAILLARD, another scientist involved in the study of the Stone and known for testing of diamonds alleged formed from quartz crystals. The Philosopher's Stone was a mystical attempt for achieving immortality mused upon by scientific greats such as Newton but now known to bear no existence in reality. However, one could imagine its potency even at the height of the Age of Reason and for Revolutionaries desirous of overturning the ideological beliefs of their time. Surely worthy of further research! Housed within a lavish embossed Morocco folder with silk lining, fine condition.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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