Les Pierres de Serpent – GREW – Musæum Regalis Societatis (1681)

or a
Catalogue & Deſcription
Of the Natural and Artificial
Belonging to the
And preſerved at
Gresham Colledge.






The SERPENT-STONE. Said by ſome, to be factitious, By others, to be a Natural Animal Stone. Particularly by Sir Philiberto Vernatti, an obſerving Perſon, to be taken out of the Head of a Serpent in Java, from whence it was ſent by him hither. It ſeems to be that called Bulgolda, which Boetius, out of Ferdinando Lopez, ſaies is taken out of the Head of an Animal, which the Indians call Bulgoldalf. Whether it be natural or artificial, I ſhall here deſcribe it.

’Tis about 3/4 of an inch long, above 1/2 over, and 1/4 thick ; flat and almoſt orbicular, like a Cowſlip-Cake, or other like Confection. All round about very ſmooth, and ſhining, for the greater part, black; but with ſome aſh-colour intermixed; ſo as to look like a River-pebble. But of a ſubſtance ſoft and friable, like the Oriental Bezoar. And in like manner, as the ſame Stone, is eaſily diſſolved with any Nitrous Spirit dropped upon it, but not with other Acids. Which is to me an argument that it grows within ſome Animal: it being the nature of moſt Animal-Stones, to be diſſoluble only by Nitrous Spirits.

Sir Philiberto (a) amongſt other paſſages of this Stone, ſaith, That if it be laid to a Wound, made by any Venimous Creature, it is ſaid to ſtick to it, and ſo to draw away all the Venime. And the like I have heard affirmed of the ſame Stone by a Phyſitian of Note in this City.

(a) Philoſoph. Tranſ. N.6.

GREW, Nehemiah. Musæum Regalis Societatis. Or a Catalogue and Description of the Natural and Artificial Rarities belonging to the Royal Society and preserved at Gresham Colledge. Whereunto is Subjoyned the Comparative Anatomy of Stomachs and Guts. Part I, Sect. III, London, 1681, p.52.

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