According to a handwritten 17th c. manuscript of nostrums, tinctures, and remedies going up for auction today, there’s nothing like boiling a shallot, herbs, and some bruised dragon’s blood in a pint of fairy water to kill a cold.
Here’s the full recipe for the next time you have the sniffles:
Take your Sallet Oyle and a pinte of faire water.
Boyle it with an earthen pott in your wax then shred the herbs very small and the rosemary and planting water into the pott.
Let it boyle a little then bruise the Dragons blood very small and putt them in letting them boyle a little.
Then take the turpentine and wash it three times in faire water and the last time in rose water them put it into the pott.’
The 64-page book is estimated to sell for a mere £400 ($568), which is a steal if you ask me. It was found under a pile of papers by one Philippa Mulley while she was cleaning her dead aunt’s house 25 years ago.
She threw it in a drawer and forgot about it until last month, when she had it appraised and put it up for sale at Bonhams.
I don’t even know how it’s physically possible to put something like that in a drawer and forget about it for 25 years. I’d be stroking it obsessively 24/7 from the minute of discovery.
The calligraphy alone is complete awesomeness, never mind the 100 recipes of more-or-less wacky folk medicine.
Update: Sold for £816 ($1,150). Now that’s more like it.