online exhibition

rare book library



alchemy & chemistry

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Le Fèvre, Nicaise (1610-1669)
A compleat body of chymistry.
London : Printed for O. Pulleyn junior, and are to be sold by John Wright, 1670.

Image from LeFevre's Complete body of chymistry

In 1660 Le Fèvre was invited by Charles II to move from Paris to become the royal professor of chemistry and apothecary to the king. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1661. His textbook, the Traicté de la chymie was one of the leading works of chemistry during the mid-seventeenth century and went through a number of editions and translations. The volume displayed here is the 3rd English edition. Le Fèvre's eclectic chemical theory combined Paracelsian, Helmontian and Aristotelian ideas. He believed in five elements, adding phlegm and earth to Paracelsus' tria prima of salt, sulphur and mercury. He is buried in St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

Another image from LeFevre's Complete body of chymistry

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