Lapis De Tribus
Take good crude antimony and native orpiment 1/4 lb or as much as you like. Powder each finely by itself, and mix the powders. Beware of the dust.
Put the mixture in a globe glass with a long neck. Place your glass deeply buried in the sand, so that the best part of the globe is under the sand, but the whole neck remains free. Your furnace must stand under a chimney. Then light your fire which increase gradually. After the humidity has evaporated, put a bit of soft clay upon the opening of the neck of the glass and press it in gently.
Increase your fire, until the sand and glass grow so intensely hot, that the powders melt together in the globe.
When you see this let the substance continue melting until the whole has become of a fine deep red fluid massa. At the later end of the operation, the iron sand pot must become red hot in the bottom.
When you have obtained the red fluid mass in fusion, take the fire out immediately, that the glass may cool gradually.
The next day, break the glass and you will find a fine red transparent ruby glass, called Lapis de Tribus because it consists of antimony, arsenic, and sulphur.
Note – Of you admit the air into the neck of the glass, the mixture takes fire, and you run great risk of your life; therefore be careful. It is done in 4 hours time. This glass is very volatile.
(I have given you some of it in a red powder, which, if you melt, it becomes a red glass again.)
One W. Cornelius de Winter from Amsterdam who was in London about the year 1775 comunicated this and what to do with it to W. Lantz.
Cornelius de Winter working the process of Myriam prophetissa, not as she told her process to Aros, King of Egypt, but in the following manner, had attained a tinging powder upon silver, as he told W. Lentz, and recommended this to him, until he should find something of greater consequence, and W. Lentz gave it to me. I have never tried it.
The Process of Cornelius de Winter with the foregoing Lapis de Tribus for the Short Way.
Take3iv of Lapis de Tribus in powder and 3J of fine gold in leaves. Mix these in a mortar by rubbing. Let it melt together in a covered crucible and suffer no coals to drop in. When the crucible begins to grow red hot, the mixture melts and at last inflamed, and the Lapis de Tribus fumes away and evaporates. When you find the Lapis evaporated, take the crucible out and let it cool, but do not breathe the poisonous fumes.
Take the gold calx out. Weigh it and mix it anew with 4 parts of fresh powdered Lapid de Tribus, by rubbing it in a glass. Put the mixture into a new crucible. Melt again and keep it in the fire, until the Lapis de Tribus is again evaporated. Repeat the same operation, with 4 parts of fresh Lapis and your gold calx is well opened for a further operation.
Cornelius de Winter said to W. Lentz, ‘You may proceed in this manner with silver, copper, or iron, and open and volatilize them by means of the Lapis de Tribus, sooner than the gold, and not that one single melting of four parts of the lapis to open part of fine silver in leaves, or of a Crocus Martis, or Veneris, opens and greatly volatilizes silver, iron or copper in one single operation. You are also to note that your fire must not be excited by the blast. It must not be a melting, but only a calcining fire. Otherwise your volatilized metals fly out of the crucible, and you keep the empty nest’.
The Lapis de Tribus has a power to volatilize all metals, gold and silver not excepted, either by the first, second or third operation, according to their natural volatility or fixity, and highly subtilizes them and reduces them into a mercurial principle, which mercurialized metals can be employed in labors of great consequence, as experience will teach you. I tell you the truth, but beware of the mercurial fumes.
‘I have made a Tincture in Via Sicca from this foundation, more than once at Amsterdam, and although it acts only on a few parts of silver, yet it is very profitable, as it can be accomplished very well in 3 or 4 days’ time, but this is not the brass founder’s work, by any means’, said de Winter.
Take of the whitest and clearest river pebbles you can get, a pound or more, and powder them finely in a clean iron mortar, and sift your powder perfectly fine.
Of this fine pebble powder, take 3/4 lb, and good yellow litharge powdered and sifted, one lb. Mix the two powders. Put them into a new crucible covered, and melt the mixture to a glass in the wind furnace. When done take the crucible out and let it cool. When cold, break the crucible and powder your glass and sift it.
Now take one part of Lapis de Tribus in powder and mix it with 4 parts of the pebble glass by rubbing them well together in a glass mortar. Melt these substances in a new crucible for 5 or 6 hours, so as to keep the matter in constant fusion. Then take the crucible out, break it, and when cold, powder it, and your glass will look tinged with yellow or orange. Weigh it, and mix it again, 4 parts of this tinged glass with one part of fresh de Tribus. Melt again, in a new crucible constantly covered, for 5 or 6 hours. You can very well accomplish 2 meltings in a day. Repeat this a third time, and your obtained glass ought to be of a fine orange colour. This is already a kind of Tincture, which if you melt it with silver, it enriches the silver with atoms of fine gold, and if you separate such silver with aqua fortis, the black calx, which falls, when washed, dried, and melted with borax, proves to be fine gold of 24 carats, but this is not all.
Take your orange coloured opaque glass, weigh it, and powder and sift it. Take of this 4 parts, say drachms, in proportion, as you have opened gold, which you have prepared at first, one part or drachm of fresh Lapis de Tribus, and one 3 of your opened mercurialized gold, and mix the whole diligently in a porphyry or glass mortar. You must rub full 2 hours, and do not breathe the dust. Melt this composition in a new covered crucible during 6 hours continual fusion, yet without any blast or violence, as fusion is enough.
When the time is past, take out the pot and let it cool. Break the crucible and separate the glass, which does now look of a deeper red, like a new brick.
Powder and weigh this glass. Take thereof 4 parts, and add one part of fresh Lapis de Tribus in powder. Mix the two powders diligently and melt them again in a new covered crucible for 6 hours time, keeping the matter in constant fusion. When cold, you will find your glass deeper in colour than before.
Repeat this fusion a third time (which from the beginning, is now the sixth melting, adding to 4 parts of this red glass, one part of fresh Lapis de Tribus and proceed carefully, as you did before, but Note: ---
1. If any coals fall into the pot, the operation is spoiled, which has happened to me in the beginning:
2. By the repeated fusions and fixations by the violent way, adding each time a 1/5 part of fresh Lapis de Tribus, i.e., one part of the lapis to 4 parts of the fixed glass, your tinged glass becomes more and more penetrating, more fusible and more fixed.
I durst not go beyond 6 or 7 fusions, as the glass does at last run through the pores of the red hot crucible. In this manner I once lost all my treasure.
6 or 7 fusions may be safely done.
This red glass is a genuine Tincture upon fine silver. After 6 fusions, it tinges sometimes 10, sometimes 12, sometimes 20 parts of silver in fusion into fine gold of 24 carats. I could never make it twice alike, the reason of which I cannot penetrate. It is profitable enough, but no so profitable, as Myriam said to King Aros. At least I could never find it so.