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Printer's Mark

suspire

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I've been doing research on a classic printer's mark used since the mid 15th Century that is based on alchemical symbols and I'd like to confirm some of my findings with you guys.

Here are some examples of the mark

[image links broken]

My research tells me its a mark for Salt of Antimony or Cinnabar.

I've read a few things that suggest it was used by printers in their mixtures for lead type and as a red ink.

Eventually it became a general mark for printers with lots of variations.

My questions are:

Why is there an extra cross bar?

Is it to symbolize that is was used as a powder (pulvis)?

Why would a printer use this mark?

Thanks guys.
 

Awani

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Not here to answer your questions, more raise some new ones.

Papal Cross

Globus Cruciger

I have always thought Christianity if ridden with alchemical imagery...

:cool:
 
Last edited:

suspire

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They do have a history of laying claim to what they find and calling it their own.
Pagan solstice and equinox holidays for example.

antimony cinnabar

[image link broken]
 

solomon levi

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suspire

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I can only guess that it may have had something to do with antimony's use as a type metal.

I think you are correct.
I've found lots of early printers marks that are clearly derived from alchemy symbols.

Based on that wiki link, they made type from Antimony, Lead and Tin.

What I can't figure out is what combination of these symbols make the printer's mark?

[image link broken]

Antimony

Lead

Tin

My best guess goes back to the Cinnabar link as I've found some evidence that Cinnabar is commonly found with Stibnite, the compound that Antimony was harvested from in Italy around the 15th century when the mark was made.

Thanks for the help Soloman
 

Triune One

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What do you think the significance of the Globus cruciger from an alchemical standpoint?
I don't think it's antimony, though the symbol is the same.
Many say it's the symbol of the earth itself, which is the same symbol as antimony.

It's all over alchemical texts. Typus mundi, for example, has it on almost every plate.

Here we see artwork rendering Zadkiel's essay on the Sacerdotal science (aka John Palmer)

Zadkiel-illustrationx800.jpg


Christ is depicted holding it in many paintings.

1024px-Andrea_Previtali,_Salvator_Mundi_(1519),_oil_on_poplar,_61.6_x_53_cm,_National_Gallery.jpg


In Leonardo Da Vinci's Christ as Salvator Mundi (c.1500)
Christ holds it in his hand a glass globe with three stars which correspond to the top three stars of the constellation of Orion.
(Reference here)

Leonardo-Globus-cruciger.jpg

It's fascinating.
Obviously an important symbol.
Any insights?
Feel free to state that you insist it means antimony.
you may very well be right, but I feel it represents something else.
it representing the "earth", may be closer to the truth of this mysterious symbol in alchemy.
 

ghetto alchemist

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Probably not the answer you're looking for....but to me, this motif is referring to the amazing spirit of the Earth which allows the miracle of life to manifest in this world.
(aka HIM)
 

Triune One

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Probably not the answer you're looking for....but to me, this motif is referring to the amazing spirit of the Earth which allows the miracle of life to manifest in this world.
(aka HIM)

That's not far off. I think that is along the lines of what I am sensing. Yes. The Earth is the vessel, the empty vessel, into which HIM manifests. This is the language of the magnet. The magnet is our starting matter. So that is likely the symbol for our starting matter.
 

Pilgrim

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Not personally convinced that the 3 dots in the orb represent Orion. They could correspond to the top 2 and bottom right stars of Orion but Orion is more usually represented by 3 dots being the belt. See here for my write up of Orion and Pleiades symbology which is found everywhere:


Whilst looking at the pictures I came across one of Jesus crying where the tears imo clearly mimic Pleiades

JesusTears.png