Table of alchemical equipment and operations

Table of alchemical equipment and operations by Athanasius Kircher

This systematic table of alchemical operations and apparatus is found in Athanasius Kircher, Mundus Subterraneus... Amsterdam, 1665. Tomus II., page 260.

Chymia is engaged about :



                     by the dry way
                        in a flask
                        in a sand bath
                     by the wet way
                        in a water bath
               With auxiliary furnaces


            made from special materials
                  Circulating vessels
                  Double pelicans
                  Philosophers Egg
                        in flasks
                        in boiling vessels
                        Casting cones
                     made only of earthenware
                        for fusion
                           Ash cupels
                        not for fusion
                           cementation box
                     containing another vessel
                           sand bath
                           muffle furnace
            made from any materials
               Superior alembic
                  closed alembic for cooking
                  alembic with a beak
               Inferior alembic

         NOT HEATED
            for storing
            for transferring
               Separating funnels


      Instruments for use in the fire

         Always necessary
            thin items
               iron rod or poker
            thick item

               dyoptra (for protecting the eyes against the fire)
               iron plate

      Sources of heat

         Natural rays of the Sun
               for digesting
               for separating
                        Bath of iron filings
                        Coal fire
            mixed bath
               of sea water
               of dew




            by vapours
            by immersion
               in the wet way
                  by Amalgamation
                  by Precipitation
               in the dry way
                  by Cementatio
                  by Commixtion

            by Combustion
            by Reverberation
            by Incineration
            by Vitrification


            by operations of short duration
               by Elevation
                  in the dry way
                  in the wet way
                        in an Alembic
                        in a bladder
                        through a side Retort   
               by Descension
                  by heat
                  by cold 
            by operations of long duration
                  by Circulation
                  by Ablution
                  by Putrefaction
                     by Imbibition
                     by Cohobation
                     by Coration
                  by Extraction

               through Cineritium (ashes)
               through Antimony

      by cold
      by heating

Quote of the Day

“The Body therefore does tinge the Spirit, and the Spirit does penetrate the Body, whereas one Body cannot penetrate another Body, but a subtle Spiritual congealed Substance does penetrate and give Colour to the Body.”

Bernard Trevisan

Treatise of the Philosophers Stone