Northshield Scholar Seeks Help with Alchemy Project

Lord Roibeard O'Connor of the Kingdom of Northshield is working on a scientific history project for his graduate degree and would like some help with alchemy processes and procedures.

Lord Roibeard writes:

I am currently beginning a research project and would appreciate any help that can be given. One of the requirements for a History of Chemistry class I am enrolled in as part of my graduate studies calls for a research paper regarding some area of chemical history. It only makes sense for me to be interested in a practice that occurs in period, and therefore also have the opportunity to enrich the understanding of the sciences in our fine kingdom.

The topic I have chosen is the pictoral representation of alchemy processes and procedures. How am I supposed to help with THAT, you ask? What I would like assistance with is gathering such pictures. Knowing the people of Northshield have a collection of Middle Ages art far superior to what is in the university library, I would like to tap that resource if possible. I am looking for pictures or drawings with strange combinations of components, specifically the following:

  • Wolves
  • Kings and Queens
  • Eagles (especially 2-headed ones and/or white ones)
  • Crows
  • Lepers
  • An old man holding a scythe
  • Lions
  • A snake, dragon, or other serpent eating its tail
  • Fires

Examples in pictures I have include a King being eaten by a wolf, a picture with an old king dying and a young king rising from a pond behind him, a wolf jumping over a fire, the old man mentioned above standing over a fire, etc.

Also, anything with strange symbols, greek letters, variations on greek letters, the modern symbols used for male and female (the circle/arrow combo for male), that sort of thing. Even if you aren't sure if a picture is relevent or not, part of my project will be to interpret that, so please share it. You may have the recipe for the philosopher's stone at your fingertips and not even know it!! :)

If you have such pictures/drawings you would like to share, please email me at If you have a digital scan of them to email me it would be ideal, but if not I can obtain most any book given a little time, so a reference of the book you've got will be just as useful, particularly if you've got the ISBN for it.

Thank you for the bandwidth and your time. For anyone interested, I'll make the end product available upon its completion.

Roibeard O'Connor
mka Chris Heth
North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND