Sternhals - War of the Knights

Johan Sternhals - The War of the Knights

His Hieroglyphics
Illustrating his foregoing Process concerning the Tincture of Iron

Figure I ~ A man in iron armour is cut to pieces lengthways.
Subscription underneath:
"The power of the terrestrial king [Gold] is gone. His general, a relation of the king [Iron], a courageous hero, is subdued."
[My Explanation as far as I understand it:]
a) Divide steel or good Iron into convenient longish yet thin lamellae.
b) Cut old watch springs to pieces.

Figure II ~ The man in iron armour, now cut to pieces, is hung up on the gallows, surrounded with a wall.
Underneath is represented the Sea. A fiery man stands in the Sea, spitting Fire which causes the Sea to evaporate.
Subscription under it:
"I have by my fiery power prepared a saline Bath composed of two fighters (c) for the punishment of the bold hero."
"Over this bath suspended, he shall for his committed crimes be suffocated until the rust-coloured marrow is extracted out of his strong bones."
a) Suspend your lamellae in a roomy glass body, over five or six ounces of Aqua Regia in such a manner that the lamellae are three or four inches above the Aqua Regia.
b) The body stands in Sand over a gentle lamp-heat, which causes the subtle acid fumes to ascend and to corrode the lamellae gradually into a Crocus or rust of Iron.
c) The two fighters, an expression made use of by Basil Valentine, signifies Solutions of Nitre and marine Salt rectified and united.

Figure III ~ Represents a man with a cup in his hand into which cup he throws an Eagle (a).
Subscription under it:
"The sweetness of the Vine is gone. Its contrary conquered in order that by the power of the Eagle, the very blood may be extracted from the rust-coloured marrow of the courageous."
a) The Eagle is Sal Ammoniac. Sal Ammoniac is a Solution of Urine united to sea-Salt. This is to be put into highly rectified Spirits of Wine and is to be united by several distillations and cohobations until it is become the celebrated double animal and vegetable menstruum which extracts a blood-red Tincture out of the first rust or Crocus of Iron for its subtilisation and spiritualisation.
b) In the room of common Sal Ammoniac take the Sublimated or so-called volatile Sal Ammoniac.

Figure IV ~ Represents the Eagle, quite dripping wet, flying away out of the cup, and there remains nothing in the cup but a red Earth.
Next to the Eagle is written: "O! I am sorry to be deprived of my Royal Food!"
Next to the red Earth in the cup is written: "Behold! my face is become like that of Adamah (b), and I am departed out of this life."
a) After you have extracted all the Tinctures from the Crocus Iron, with the double menstruum, distill the solvens from the Tincture in a vapor bath until there remains either a red dry Earth behind, or leave it moist and thick in the form of a fine deep red Oil of Iron.
b) Adamah equals red Earth.

Figure V ~ A naked human corpse is carried by and is placed into a vault under ground.
Two Women [Luna/Silver - Venus/Copper] walk with the corpse. The one on the right side looked like a queen [Luna], having a silver crown on her head.
Next to the queen was written: "The bones of our hero are dried up! His power is vanished! His blood comes over me and my Subjects! (b)"
The woman [Venus] on the left side arrayed in purple, sadly enveloped in her garments, bears the following inscription: "O my brother! my brother! could I but die for thee! I expected you would rejoice our king and redeem or liberate our afflicted queen!" [Sol/Gold and Luna/Silver] (c).
After these two women followed a king (d) of a very sad, afflicted appearance with this subscription: "My dearest and faithful, I shall go with thee to the Grave!" (e)
a) The red Oil is to be put into a digesting globe, and is to be putrefied in a gentle warmth over the lamp.
b) The Tincture of Iron is capable to transmute Silver, Mercury, Tin and Lead into Gold.
c) I think the Tincture of Iron wants a Solar ferment.
d) A king, i.e. the Solar ferment.
e) Is to be putrefied with the Oil of Iron as it seems.

Figure VI ~ Represents a thief that breaks into a house, with this subscription:
"Behold! a few days are passed since this hero rests! (a) Perhaps he has got his jewels about him. But what do I see? It seems that his corpse has been put elsewhere! (b) Here is nothing but the red sweat. (c) This might be sold as a relic of a Saint! It is of Royal Blood (d), and yet it is despised by many. (e) But if it should be found in my possession, they will condemn and hang me. Come, I'll pour it out. As the street is covered with snow, it (the blood) will soon freeze (f) and will be swallowed up by the snow." (g)
a) Some time of digestion is past since the glass has been placed in a gentle heat.
b) The matter has become changed so as not to know it.
c) A red liquid.
d) Iron contains a Solar Tincture.
e) Many despise Iron.
f) It will soon be congealed.
g) And will become the white Tincture.

Figure VII ~ Represents some passengers. One amongst them gathers the tinged snow (a) with this subscription: "This should not lay in the street. It should be placed again in its former bed (b) that it might be purified and that with this blood the king's crown, by imbibing, may be made seven times more ponderous." (c)
This is our work to obtain and qualify the Sulphur of Iron, to give him ingress into Silver, in order to tinge Silver into permanent Gold. (e)
a) Tinctura Rubea.
b) Multiplication.
c) The red Tincture is to be multiplied with the first oil of Iron and is to be imbibed and fixed seven times, I believe.
d) The latter end of the allegory is dark.
e) From this it appears that it only tinges Silver and no other metals, but in another part of the process, the reverse appears!
f) Perhaps we may learn more of it hereafter, if God pleases!