Mutus liber, La Rochelle, 1677
Mutus Liber (from Latin: Silent Book) was an alchemical text published in France in the later half of the 17th century. It professed to outline, through a series of mystical illustrations, a method of manufacturing the Philosopher's Stone.
It was first printed in 1677 at La Rochelle under the editorship of Pierre Savouret.
Its authorship, long obscured by abstruse claims and speculation, has been established. He was Isaac Baulot, an apothecary and savant of matters medicinal at La Rochelle, born there in 1612. Scrolls on the last plate of the Mutus Liber bear in awkward Latin the dismissal oculatus abis, "having seen thou departest," which almost anagrams the author's name.
A fine hand-colored pressing of 1702, probably unique, is in the Library of Congress, ms. 0215-2110.The beleaguered Huguenots of La Rochelle had good cause during the capricious enforcement and then revocation of the Edict of Nantes to disguise their more occult speculations in code.