Object Lesson


When alchemist Georg Honauer (1572-1597) claimed he could convert iron into gold, Duke Friedrich I of Württemberg ordered all the iron in his Mömpelgard armory conveyed to Stuttgart for a demonstration. Honauer panicked and fled but was extradited back to town, where, according to this contemporary woodcut, he was dressed in a gilded garment and hanged on a gilded gallows.

The anonymous printer concludes, er soll besser lernen Gold machen — “he should learn how to make gold better.”

(Thanks, Charlie.)