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Specializing in Rare and Antiquarian Books on the Occult and more.

Occult & Esoterica

THE CLAVIS or Key to Unlock the Mysteries of Magic by Rabbi Solomon. Translated by Ebenezer Sibley. Introduction by Stephen Skinner & Daniel Clark (Deluxe Edition)

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THE CLAVIS or Key to Unlock the Mysteries of Magic by Rabbi Solomon. Translated by Ebenezer Sibley. Introduction by Stephen Skinner & Daniel Clark (Deluxe Edition)

195.00

Singapore: Golden Hoard Press, 2018. First Edition. Hardcover. Quarto. Deluxe edition of 150 hand-numbered copies, this being #47. Signed by Stephen Skinner. Bound in black leather over blue boards with gilt seal to front. Spine with 7 raised bands and red leather label. Marbled endpapers with facsimile of Sibley's armorial crest to front pastedown. 497 pages (272 pages being the color facsimile manuscript). Illustrated throughout in color and b/w. A very heavy volume. A fine copy, issued without dust jacket.

This manuscript grimoire contains magical formulae and procedures dating back to 1520, which were brought together in 1789 by Dr. Ebenezer Sibley. After his death in 1799 copyists like Frederick Hockley continued to add chapters and even whole ‘books’ to the manuscript. Finally in the 19th century this particular copy was made by a master calligrapher. Although there are a number of other manuscript copies of the Clavis or Key to Unlock the Mysteries of Magic located in libraries spread around the world (14 at last count), this one is totally unique. It is 45% longer and more complete than any other copy, and illustrated with a large number of pentacles from the Key of Solomon, featuring 8-12 for every one of the 7 planets. There are a range of detailed methods for evoking spirits and binding them, with an explanatory commentary by the editors which is not directed towards just theory and history, but to practical usage. Specific spirits, such as Birto, Agares, Vassago and Bealpharos and the methods for invoking them are explained, with illustrations of the form the spirits usually appear in. There is a whole section on skrying in the crystal, and the use of the magic bell, which explains the differences between evoking the spirit outside the circle in a triangle and seeing its image in a crystal. Methods involving the use of the Demon Kings to compel the lesser spirits, which have never appeared in any other published grimoires, are explained in detail. As well as the pentacles there are many talismans for very practical purposes, such as compelling a thief to return your stolen goods, causing destruction to your enemies, creating love between two people, or just for casual ‘amorous intrigues,’ curing some diseases, and for defending your home against both burglars and malicious spirits. This extraordinarily psychedelic work (see photos) marks the high point in Victorian illustrated grimoires. 

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