Re: Acceptable alembic glyph variants

From: James Kass (
Date: Sun Dec 30 2007 - 18:13:44 CST

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    Andreas Stötzner wrote,

    > Not quite so.
    > 2697 is a *pictographical symbol* which stands for chemistry in dictionaries. Note that is does NOT mean alembicus.
    > On the opposite, the alembic-sign in the chart given is a *typographical character* meaning alembicus (the device) in alchemical
    > notation. It is the glyph to be found regularily in most alchemical source charts of that kind and period (roughly: 16th to 19th
    > c.).

    Dictionaries!? I had never seen this symbol U+2697, even though
    I once worked in an industry related to chemistry, other than
    as a device in chemical supply house company logos.

    Probably the original proposal for encoding this symbol as a
    character shows examples of this symbol in running text, but,
    in spite of searching the ISO archives of proposals, I could not
    find that original proposal.

    As you say, the glyph which looks like a ligature of "XX" (or
    Roman numeral 20), is found on many alchemical symbol charts
    from years past. There is another very similar glyph which
    means "glass". Perhaps these similar glyphs are variants. The
    similar symbols also show up on these old charts under captions
    like "retort" and "distill", unsurprisingly.

    I think you are correct -- the alchemical alembic glyph can not
    be unified with U+2697.

    >> (Symbol enthusiasts please note various other interesting
    >> symbols in that graphic.)
    > Theyre mostly *not* symbols but characters (cf. subtitle of that page).

    In order for any of those interesting, unencoded alchemical
    symbols to become characters in the Unicode sense of the word,
    someone will need to collect, organize, make a formal proposal,
    and follow it through the process until it is approved.

    Best regards,

    James Kass

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