Demons For Dummies Ca. 1775
June 30, 2015 9:37 AM   Subscribe

"A selection of pages from an 18th-century demonology book comprised of more than 30 exquisite watercolours showing various demon figures, as well as magic and cabbalistic signs. The full Latin title of Compendium rarissimum totius Artis Magicae sistematisatae per celeberrimos Artis hujus Magistros, roughly translates to “A rare summary of the entire Magical Art by the most famous Masters of this Art”. With a title page adorned with skeletons and the warning of Noli me tangere (Do not touch me), one quickly gets a sense of the dark oddities lurking inside its pages." - The Public Domain Review presents illustrations from a 18th century guide to demons and demonology (NSFW illustrated nudity, snakes on bits.)
posted by The Whelk (29 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
 
Guide to demons, or best ideas for cosplay ever?
posted by zombieflanders at 9:44 AM on June 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I would have thought Belzebub would have more hit dice.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:46 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mix-n-Match Animal Toys + Dildos = the Legions of Hell
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:46 AM on June 30, 2015


I like the demon who appears to be incidentally pissing in a ritual bowl while giving some junior-league demonologists what-for.
posted by griphus at 9:47 AM on June 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Mix-n-Match Animal Toys + Dildos = the Legions of Hell

Quick, someone call CNN!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:48 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Looks like a pretty awesome party, really.
posted by Windigo at 9:51 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Love it!
posted by Drexen at 10:02 AM on June 30, 2015


Surprised how goofy some of these look. But if confronted with any of them in real life, I'm sure any one of us would piss our pants.
posted by tunewell at 10:09 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


No, we piss into the ritual bowl.
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 AM on June 30, 2015 [5 favorites]




Ye olde Artes of the Deviants.
posted by benzenedream at 10:15 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


This reminds me, the next Laundry Files novel from MeFi's own Charles Stross is due in UK bookstores tomorrow and US bookstores next week.

If you are not cleared for the following code words CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN MAGINOT BLUE STARS SCORPION STARE please close this dossier immediately and report to your assigned security officer for debriefing.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:18 AM on June 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: No, we piss into the ritual bowl.
posted by Rangi at 10:20 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Who's Who in Hell, 1775 Edition

Cool stuff. One of the projects I never finished was making a Tobin's Spirit Guide for my kids, using illustrations from various sources such as Dictionnaire Infernal, Hieronymus Bosch, and a few other weird sources I had access to, with silly/serious captions and descriptions. Even though it turned out to be a bigger project than I first presumed, I still regret not completing it. Maybe someday if I have grandkids. (Yes, I raised my kids with all kinds of weird stories, movies and music. Now that they're in college, they occasionally recollect with amusement all those strange things we enjoyed.)
posted by 2N2222 at 10:30 AM on June 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Let Any-Man who looks upon the
Blaspheemous Ikons concealed withe-in this
Forbydden Trapper Keypere be
For-Ever Damn-ed to repeat
Miss Johnson's 5th-periode Geometrie Classe

posted by Atom Eyes at 10:30 AM on June 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


Oh my. These are unintentionally hilarious. The 3-headed beast near the bottom... the middle head is like "Yay, I'm the human head!" and the other two heads are all "What's your problem, Carl? We're here trying to look scary and you're sitting there with an idiot grin"

Also the last image, I am sure I saw that dude on the inside cover of a Zeppelin album
posted by caution live frogs at 10:54 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like the demon who appears to beincidentally pissing in a ritual bowl while giving some junior-league demonologists what-for.

That's obviously the 18th century Sam and Dean.
posted by lilac girl at 11:05 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Modern Version: Fire on the Velvet Horizon

I admit that I've been toying with the idea of doing a creature compendium/spirit guide/etc made of my block prints. It would take awhile, but could be a nice palette cleanser between Cthulhu Mythos stuff and aliens.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:09 AM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Does Giles know you've been raiding his collection?
posted by stevis23 at 11:12 AM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am sure I saw that dude on the inside cover of a Zeppelin album

Not the first thing I thought of.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:36 AM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Second and third pages look like a collection of sketches bored meeting goers draw on their notepads (minus the skeletons, heads, and hands, though please prove me wrong if you or a co-worker managed a piece of art in a meeting).
posted by JoeXIII007 at 11:53 AM on June 30, 2015


Reminds me of "medieval paintings of cats licking their butts" (via)
posted by growabrain at 12:01 PM on June 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Remember, we don't speak Latin in front of the books.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:02 PM on June 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sweet, I needed new forum avatar material.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:42 PM on June 30, 2015


This is from the Wellcome Library, originally purchased by Henry Wellcome, the pharmaceutical entrepreneur who founded the company that became Burroughs-Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline). Wellcome was a mad collector with interests in the histories of medicine, pharmacy, anthropology, etc. and particularly in the development of these sciences out of magic. At his most excessive his collection was several times the size of the Louvre and he was spending more than the acquisitions budget of the British Museum. After his death, much of this was dispersed, but a large chuck of it remains at the Wellcome Library and Trust.

Because they're them and I'm someone looking at scanned images on the internet, I'm going to take the Library's word that this is an 18th century manuscript, but if I had to guess I'd say turn of the 19th or early 19th instead. The entire book can be viewed here and I dunno, I just get a turn of the 19th century vibe from it—this, for example—looks like later handwriting (tho it's worth noting that it looks like there might've been two hands involved in the composition—the handwriting at the end of the book looks different.) Even the binding looks more, to me, early 19th century and less 18th. But I'm basing all this on a cursory look at scanned images so who knows.

The book itself is akin to books like The Lesser Key Of Solomon and (more particularly) the Dictionnaire Infernal with its pictures of demons that look like a very early Deities & Demigods.

Wellcome apparently bought this book from V. A. Weck, an Austrian bookdealer. And for anyone who's German is better than mine, the dealer's original description is scanned at the end of the book.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:48 PM on June 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Day shift is going to be shocked by their new desktop backgrounds and screen savers.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 5:49 PM on June 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm always tickled, looking at these sorts of things, how limited the artists or creators were in imagining what demons look like. It's always just chunks of human or animal body parts grafted together like crude decoupage. I'd say it was just a product of the time, but Bosch's work came much earlier, and he was much better at blending disparate features together more gracefully and just making them more weird and otherworldly, creating a more individual demon rather than the hodgepodge seen here.
posted by picea at 6:40 AM on July 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


SAN CHECK: 1/1d20
posted by schwa at 7:52 AM on July 1, 2015


The Lesser Key Of Solomon*

*aka "The Book of Player Character Names"
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:54 PM on July 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


« Older I will what I want.   |   “I just want to spend my money on food & beers... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments