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     Adam McLean's version of the Ripley Scrowle

           On the ground there is a hill
           Also a serpent in a well
           His tail is long with wings wide
           Already to fly by every side
           Repair the well fast about
           That the serpent get not out
           For if that he be there agone
           You lose the virtue of the Stone

The Ripley scroll is one of the most beautiful and important of alchemical manuscripts. It dates from the middle to late 15th century (1450-1500). 21 examples have survived and the earliest is in Oxford. A late copy made in 1624 recently sold (Dec 2000) in an auction at Sotheby's for £206,000 ($300,000). So it is an extremely valuable and rare work.

The scroll is an English alchemical manuscript, and is among the earliest alchemical works that incorporate allegorical imagery and text. It predates the well known Splendor solis illustrations. It has not yet been conclusively established that it was the work of George Ripley, but his name has always been associated with this scroll.

In the first few months of 2002 I worked on making a facsimile of this famous work basing it upon three of the best known and earliest versions of the scroll. I redrew and coloured the images. Most of the surviving scrolls are in poor condition and the colouring has consequently faded, so making this facsimile provided the opportunity of recreating the scroll in its original vivid colours. I also have used my modern version of the text on the scroll. The original 15th/16th century middle English verse is rather difficult for people inexperienced with this material to read.

I have now made a version printed as four separate panels on 160 gsm paper 16.5 x 6.7 inches (420 x 170mm), which is a about a third to a half the size of some of the originals, but it makes it much easier to handle and examine, and can now be easily framed as four separate prints. These four prints are in high resolution showing all the fine detail of the imagery. It is a recreation rather than a facsimile of any existing manuscript, and draws upon a number of different versions, correcting to some extent the imagery and modernising the text.

The price is £50.00 ($85) including air mail postage worldwide and is sent in a large postal tube.

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I have set up a short study course on the Ripley scroll.