Alchemical medal about 1600, in Stuttgart
Frederick I of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg: Alchemist's Thaler 1687, in Gotha
Medal on the Transmutation, in the GNM Nuremberg
Medal 16th/early 17th century
City of Nuremberg, medal n.d. (around 1700)
Alchemical plate 1648 for Emperor Ferdinand III
Alchemical medallion 1677 for Emperor Leopold I, in the KHM Vienna
Gold medal 1716 for Charles III Philip of the Palatinate, in the KHM Vienna
Epilogue: Nuclear fusion and supernova explosion, not transmutation
As a very old branch of natural philosophy, alchemy dealt with the properties and reactions of substances. Alchemists speculated about the structure of matter and dealt with the production of remedies, as well as the transformation of substances into precious metals, for example. They used symbols of astrology and performed mysterious acts. They succeeded in reinventing porcelain and black powder, as well as discovering chemiluminescence. From the 18th century onwards, new approaches and experimental methods in the successor disciplines of chemistry, pharmacy and metallurgy increasingly led to verifiable findings and successful applications.
Miraculous success stories were summarised in an article Alchemist's Gold in 1890.
Medal made of "alchemical gold" Ø 36,5 mm, 24,6 g. Landesmuseum Stuttgart, Inv. MK19316.
One of the two eyelets is broken off.Obv.: Gold represented by the lion (sign of the zodiac) on a pedestal and the engravings (celestial bodies sun and sun demon).
Rev.: The man with the crown represents the success of an alchemical process in which gold was extracted from common metal. Around names of the angels who rose up against God: SAMAEL (Samuel), SOMACHIEL, STAHAEL (Satichel), SORAXIEL, SRQVIEL (Satquiel), OFFIEL, STEMANA (Semana), VOAMO, SABICHEL (Sabaniel or Sarichel) and MANASIEL (Manasel).
6 ducats 1687, Gotha, dies by Christian Wermuth. Ø 38 mm, 21,91 g. Steguweit 137 (dort als 10-facher Dukat und Feinsilbertaler).
On the Duke's alchemical experiments.
"Frederick by the Grace of God, Duke of Saxony, Jülich Cleve and Berg"
Laureate head right, below I.G.⚛.W. (Johann Gottfried Wichmannshausen, mint master 1683-88).
Rev.: A.NUMINE.LUMEN. - SUSCIPIO.Got.1687.ET.REDDO·
"From God I received the light and give it back"
Above a bank of clouds between the radiant sun (=gold) and moon (=silver), the divine clarity shines as
a six-pointed star in a crown of points and rays and lowers its bundled rays onto the
alchemical eagle in the flames. In the eagle's beak in an eternity ring the symbols of
the chemical substances Ɵ (salt), (sulphur) and (mercury).
Struck gold medal on the 'Transmutation', n. d. about 1700. Ø 33 mm, 13,31 g.
Specimen in the Germanic National Museum Nuremberg, Med.5830
Obv.: ACQUIRITUR PRECIBUS AD DEUM MAGISTERIUM
"A rare magisterium is obtained from God"
An adept (owner of the secret) kneels with folded hands in his laboratory with a still and a magic
six-pointed star. Above him a cloud of thoughts with the word FIAT ("let there be prepared").
In the background, shelves with bottles.
Rev.: ⚛NON A ME SED EX DEI OMNIPOTENTIS GRATIA
"Not from me, but thanks to God’s almighty grace"
Two crucibles connected with streams of vapour. The streams surround a five-flowered plant on a hill in
the background. Above sideways sun (gold) and crescent moon (silver), each with face.
Struck medal n. d. (16th / early 17th century). Ø 45 mm, 23,7 g. Coll. Goppel 5146.
Obv.: NATVRA·NATURAE·GAVDET·CONTINET·SVPERAT QVAE
"Nature enjoys nature, it contains and surpasses everything"
Wild man (⊙) and woman (☾) sawing at a tree stump from which a plant with three flowers grows.
Rev.: IS·QVI·ME·GENVIT - SINE ME NOA·NASCITVRIES
"He who begot me will be born without me"
Crowned double-faced man holding a crown and the staff of Mercury stands on a circle containing a
rectangle and a triangle; water and rocks in the background.
On the left between the rocks the die cutter signature W.
Silber medal n. d. (c. 1700), unsigned, by P. H. Müller. Ø 44 mm, 29,90 g.
Obv.: NON FVI, QVOD ERAM; - NVNC SVM, DVM MORIOR·
"Ich bin nicht gewesen, was ich war; nun bin ich's, indem ich sterbe"
Luna-Diana rises from a burning pyre in which Mercury lies.
Rev.: SIC CAPIVNT TECHNIS PROFVGVM ME SANGVINE IVNCTI·
"So fesseln mich, [weil ich] vor den Künsten floh, meine Blutsverwandten"
Winged Pluto captivates Mercury while Jupiter sits on a flying eagle and points a torch at Mercury.
Cast gold medallion 1677, by Wenzel Seiler von Reinburg. Ø 301-374 mm, 7.200,4 g.
Exhibited in the Numismatic Collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, inv. no. 27bβ.
See the reverse in a separate window.
Obv.: SACRATISSIMO / POTENTISSIMO ET INVICTISSIMO / ROMANONORVM IMPERATORI / LEOPOLDO I "To the most holy / powerful and invincible / Roman Emperor / Leopold I." /
ARCANORVM NATVRÆ SCRVTAToRI CVRIOSMO / GENVINVM HOC VERÆ AC PERFECTÆ / METAMORPHOSEOS METALLICÆ / SPECIMEN.
"the diligent explorer of nature's secrets, and brings this curious true piece of a perfect metallic metamorphosis (transformation)" /
PRO EXIGVO ANNIVERSARY DIEI NOMINALIS "for a name day" / MNEMOSVNO /
CVM OMNIGENÆ PROSPERITATIS VOTO "with all kinds of congratulations"/
HVMILIMA VENERATIONE OFFERT ET DICAT / IOANNES WENCESLAVS DE REINBVRG "... offered in humble adoration by Johannes von Reinburg" / NVMINI MAIESTATIQVE EIVS "..." / DEVOTISSIMVS. / ANNO CHRISTI MDCLXXVII DIE FESTO / S.LEOPOLDI / COGNOMINE PIIOLIM MARCHONIS AVSTRIÆ / NVNC AVTEM PATRONI AVGVSTISSIMÆ / DOMVS AVSTRIACÆ / BENIGNISSIMI.
Rev.: In the centre the portraits of Leopold and his third wife Eleonore Magdalena of Palatinate-Neuburg, surrounded by 40 numbered portraits of (partly fictitious) proceedings of Leopold. Each of the portraits with its own inscription.
Centre: LEOPOLDVS.I.IMP.ROM.ET.ELEANORA MAGD.TERES.IMPERAT.ROM.
- Outer row (No.1-20) from 12 o'clock to the right -
1.PHARAMVNDVS PRIMVS REX FRANCORVM.A.CHR.419.
2.CLODIVS.CRINITVS.FRANCORVM REX.II † A.CH.448.
- Middle row (no.21-32) from 12 o'clock to the right -
21.GVNTR.COM.HABS.WER.II.FIL.VIX.AN.CHRST. 943 (Gutram, †973, considered the progenitor of the Habsburgs in 1160)
22.BETZO.COM.HABS.GVN.II.FIL.VIX.AN.C. 970 (Lanzelin, Kanzelin or Landolt, †991, son of Gutram)
23.RAPATO.COM.HABS.BETZ.FIL.VIX.AN.CH. 1034 (Radbot, †1045, son of Lanzelin)
24.WERNER.COM.HABS.RAPAT.FIL. † AN.CHRIS.1096 (Werner, †1096, son of Count Radbot of Habsburg)
25.OTTO.COM.HABS.WERN.FIL. † AN.CHRI.1080 (†1111, son of Count Werner)
26.WERNERVS II.CO.HABS.OTHO.FIL.VIX.AN 1140 (†1167, son of Count Otto II)
27.ALBERT.COM.HABS.WER.II.FIL.VIX.AN.CHR.1191 (†1199, son of Count Werner II)
missing: Rudolf II the Kind, Count of Habsburg, †1232, son of Count Albrecht
28.ALB.II.COM.HABS.ALB.I.FIL. † AN.CHR.1238 (Albrecht, Count of Habsburg, son of Count Rudolf II of Habsb.)
29.RVDOL.I.ROM.IMP.ALB.II.CO.HABS.FIL † CH.1291 (1273 first Habsburg as Roman-German king)
30.ALBERT.I.ROM.IMP.A.AVSTR.RVD.I.FIL. † AN.CH.1308 (1298 Roman-German king)
31.ALBERT.II.ARCHID.AVST.ALB.IMP.FIL. .AN.1358 (Albrecht II. of Austria, †1358)
32.LEOPOLDVS PROBVS.ARCH.AVST.ALB.II.FIL † 1386.
- Innermost row (No.33-40) from 12 o'clock to the right -
33.ERNEST.FERREVS.ARCHI.AVST.LEOP.FIL. † A.C.1495. (sic) (Ernst the Iron, †1424)
34.FRID.IV:ROM.IMP.AR.AVSTR.ERN.FIL. † A.C.1492. (Emperor Frederick III.)
35.MAXIM.I.ROM.IMP.A.A.DVX.FRID.IV.FIL. † A.1519.
36.PHILIP.I.AVSTIACo.REX.HISPA.MAX.I.FIL. † A.1506.
37.FERD.I.RO.IMP.REX.HVN.ET.BOH.PHI.I.R.FIL. † A.1564.
38.CAROLVS.ARCH.AVST.DVX.STYR.FER.I.IMP.F. † 1590.
39.FERD.II.RO.IMP.REX.HVN.ET.BOH.CAR.A.F. † A.1637.
Emperor Maximiian I propagated the "Frank theory", which traced the lineage back to Troy via the Franks.
Picture of the reverse missing.
Stuck gold medal 1716. Ø c.57 mm Coin Cabinet, KHM Vienna,
a transmutation and created medal on New Year's Eve 1716.
Obv.: AUREA PROGENIES PLUMBO PROGNATA PARENTE
"A golden daughter born of a leaden parent"
Sun god with scythe and hourglass (?) sitting on cloud with sign "h" or (lead / Saturn)
Rev.: METAMORPHOSIS CHVMICA SATURNI IN SOLEM ID EST. PLUMBI IN AURUM.
"Chemical metamorphosis of Saturn into Sun happen"
SPECTATA OENIPONTI. TIDECEMBRIS MDCCXVI. PROCURANTE: ""... December 1716 delivered"
SERENISSIMO CAROLO PHILIPPO COMITE PALATINO RHENI S:R:I:ARCHIDAPIFERO ET ELECTORE BAVARIAE. IULIE. CLIVIAE. ET MONTIUM DUCE. TVROLIS GUBERNATORE ET.ET. ATQUE IN HAC MONETA AD PERENNEM REI MEMORIAM ARCI AMBROS ET POSTERITATI DONATA