Frederick Hockley (scribe and artist), Experimentum, Potens Magna in Occult Philosophy, Society of Esoteric Endeavour 2012, 1st Ed. Numbered limited edition of 100 copies (10ins x 8ins) 33pp full colour plates reproducing Hockley’s lavishly illustrated manuscript. 37pp text by Dan Harms gives a brief Introduction, full transcript (Hockley’s calligraphy looks beautiful, but can be hard to read) plus commentary.


In the work Hockley collects a number of rituals, giving some a powerful visual form, akin to a Mandala. In the final ritual, a perilous invocation of Oberion, he records the appearance of the spirit in a grotesque form reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s the Scream. This shows Hockley to be an occult artist of a status hitherto unrealised in publications of his work. One wonders if the references to the ritual use of cannabis and opium in Experimentum signal tools that Hockely used. There are magical procedures for causing the destruction of enemies, routing out thievery, the magical protection of places and buildings, magical fascination, fulfilling sexual desire and a perilous invocation of the spirit Oberion. There is a strong folkish element hand in hand with complex ritual. Hockley gives some spells a striking visual forms, akin to Mandala. These, supplemented by a haunting illustration of a grotesque Oberion - reminiscent of Edvard Munch’s the Scream, establish Hockley as an innovative occult artist in ways unseen in previous publications. Throughout he employs calligraphic hands, rather than his usual handwriting, making this a visually impressive volume.


The book is half bound in sheepskin leather, which has a lovely natural texture subtly different from the usual goat. The leather has been tanned to be especially pliable, soft and water resistant. The remainder of the board is covered with marbled paper hand made in a traditional 19th century pattern and treated with beeswax by a specialist craftswoman, to give it a water resistant finish and which, with the leather, makes the book pleasant to touch, especially as the marbled paper has been backed with padding, bringing it flush to the leather. The gilt blocked title on the spine and the blind blocked decoration emulate the script and decorations used by Hockley internally. The paper used is 160 gsm mould made paper with natural laid texture.


The use of more water resistant materials gives these facsimiles a fighting chance of resisting any water damage to add to that of the original manuscript which has clearly, at some point, been stored in damp conditions. There is discolouration, show through and offsetting. This has all been reproduced in facsimile. As the pages are printed Giclée process, not as photos of a book, but so it appears that you actually have an old bound manuscript. The Transcript and Commentary is given in a readably calligraphic hand sympathetic with Hockley’s styles. A tinted paper is used, so the latter section does not visually jar with the appearance of age of the facsimile section. Hockley’s probably sources are identified, and this throws light upon that early 19th Century British occult milieu, the Society of the Mecurii, concerning whom there is considerable interest.


Image of cover


Image of spine


Image of pages


Image of pages



All copies come with a bookmark featuring the waxed marbled paper, designed to fit over the page and holdfast.



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There is the optional extra of a slipcase made to order. These are available in two variants, both have the waxed marbled paper on all three edges with cloth sides and features the same blocked decorative motif as the covers, but here in gilt rather than blind.  




Book in standard slipcase


Book in standard slipcase from above  





Lidded slipcase


Lidded slipcase open







If desired either slipcase can be ordered with the additional chemise. This will have a the leather label with the title and spine decoration blocked in gilt. The cloth bound boards will have the board decoration in gilt. Internally, it will feature one of the plates, which will have been enhanced to be as it would have been when executed by Hockley. So signs of discolouration will be removed. The illustrations are striking now, but when Hockley drew them he included considerable ornate embellishment in gold, copper and silver metallic inks. These have all tarnished now, and can only really be discerned by close examination of the original manuscript. For the chemise, modern stable metallic inks will be applied by means screen printing. This process yet to be completed, so regret no photos available at this time.


Please note than the slipcases have to be made wider to accept the chemise, so the chemise has to be ordered at the same time as the slipcase




CHEMISE            GBP 55.00




A realist supply time for slipcases and chemises is within two months.





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