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Book of LambspringThis poem was first printed in Nicolas Barnaud, Triga chemica: de lapide philosophico tractatus tres..., Leiden 1599, but without illustrations. This was reprinted in volume III of the Theatrum Chemicum, 1602. It was issued by Lucas Jennis three times in 1625 with a series of 15 emblems. The three books issued were Dyas chymica tripartita, the Musaeum hermeticum, and De lapide philosophico. The University of Salzburg, has a manuscript dated 1607, MS. M I 92) with a series coloured drawings, and there is 16th century manuscript in Zurich, Zentral Bibliothek MS. P 2177.
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Frontispiece. A Philosopher herald stands beside a triple furnace. He wears a short tunic which bears the image of a double headed eagle with wings and talons spread out, on the body of which is a small shield with a cockerel or hen. The herald holds a sceptre in his right hand and at his left side is an ornamental sword with eagle headed handle.
Coat of Arms. A stylised coat of arms, showing a lamb with its left front hoof raised from the ground standing above a helmet set in a foliage. Below on a shield another lamb is shown making the same gesture.
Emblem 1. Two fishes swim in opposite directions on the surface of a lake or sea. In the background some sailors in a boat raise their arms in greeting.
Emblem 2. In a forest with a lake or river in the background, from the right a man in armour with a shield, raises a sword high in his right hand and is about to strike a winged dragon on the left, which paws the ground in front of him.
Emblem 3. In a forest with a lake or river in the background a unicorn enters from the right and meets with a stag with twelve pointed antlers which is on the left. The unicorn has its left front hoof raised, while the stag has it right front hoof raised.
Emblem 4. In a forest a lion and a lioness walk from the right to the left, the lion taking the lead. The lion raises its right front paw, while the lioness its left.
Emblem 5. In a forest beside a river bank a wolf and a dog are fighting.
Emblem 6. In a forest a winged snake or serpent like dragon seizes its own tail to form the ouroboros.
Emblem 7. In a forest, one bird sits upon a nest high in a tree, while another bird is abou to fly off. At the foot of the tree a snail moves slowly across the ground.
Emblem 8. In a forest with a river or lake in the background two large birds fight each other. One is upright, while the other is upside down.
Emblem 9. A crowned king with orb in his right hand and sceptre in his left is seated upon a throne with a fish motif carved on its arms. His feet rest upon a snake or serpent like dragon (as in the the sixth emblem in this sequence). His throne is set upon a canopied platform approached by seven steps, and stands on a hill above a city through which flows a river. This platform is built of stone above an arch (which echoes the arch of the triple furnace in the frontispiece).
Emblem 10. In an open landscape an artisan with a triple pronged trident places a salamander in a fire (or perhaps tries to capture it from the flames). The salamander or lizard has a line of stars along its back.
Emblem 11. In front of a castle beside a river, a young crowned prince bearing an ornate sword (similar to that of the herald in the frontispiece), stands hand in hand between two older figure. On the left holding his right hand is a older bearded and crowned king holding a sceptre in his right hand. On the right side is a winged bearded old man wearing a cap, who holds the left hand of the prince.
Emblem 12. The winged bearded old man wearing a cap and the young prince stand upon a high mountain above which the Sun on the left and the Moon and stars on the right shine down their beams. The winged old man gestures up to the heavens with his left hand and to the sun and the light of day with his right. The young prince gestures to the earth below with his right hand and to the Moon, stars and the night with his left.
Emblem 13. Inside a palace the old king sits upon his canopied throne. He grasps the young prince and seems to be in the act of devouring him. The winged old man looks on from the left and raises his right hand as if in a gesture of blessing.
Emblem 14. The old king lies in his bed and seems to be sweating. Outside a heavy rain falls.
Emblem 15. In front of a cloth backdrop the winged bearded old man sits. On the left is the young prince holding a sceptre in his left hand, his right hand gesturing outwards to the reader. The winged bearded man gestures with his left hand to the old king who sits on the right. The old king holds an orb in his right and a sceptre in his left hand.