Money Will Be Like Dross

An alchemical furnace from the Nordic Museum’s collections is one of few remaining artifacts from the 18th century alchemist and mineralogist August Nordenskiöld. Employed to produce gold for Swedish king Gustav III, Nordenskiöld had a subversive counter-agenda of making the secret of alchemy open to all, and thereby ending the ”tyranny of money”.

Goldin+Senneby have produced an instruction manual, offering collectors a license to reproduce the 18th century alchemical furnace that belonged to August Nordenskiöld. The replica instruction manual exists in a numbered but unlimited edition, where the price increases for each edition sold; making it increasingly expensive to decrease the rarity of the artwork.

The alchemical furnace was first copied during a solo exhibition at Crystal, Stockholm (2012), including a magic performance at Drottningholm Castle Theatre. The replica instruction manual was first presented at Frieze NY the same year. Manual ed 3 was gifted to the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in 2016 by a private collector.

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