Colophon detail. Christoffel Froschower, Zurch, 1575. (Image from Gesner, 1575)
Paracelsus was rumoured to have successfully manufactured the Philosopher's Stone, a magical substance that confers immortality and turns base-metals into gold. According to legend he kept the Stone in the hollowed-out pommel of his sword. Unfortunately the good doctor did not share the secret of the Stone’s manufacture. He did however tell the world how to make fairies (Mix “gross elements” and heat them in “fuming dung”). It seems he had the delicacy to refrain from actually creating one.
These fairies were created by Cardigan’s very own JK Meadows as illustrations for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Image from Cornwall, 1844)