It may be obtained direct from pure and bright coloured portions of the native ore cinnabar, or, artificially, by subliming a mixture of mercury and sulphur.
He does not tell us how it was prepared, but he describes the method of subliming it, which can leave no doubt that it was real sal ammoniac. In the Opera mineralia of Isaac Hollandus the elder, there is likewise a description of the mode of subliming sal ammoniac. Basil Valentine, in his Currus triumphalis antimonii, describes some of the peculiar properties of sal ammoniac in, if possible, a still less equivocal manner.
Aluminium fluoride, AlF 3, obtained by dissolving the metal in hydrofluoric acid, and subliming the residue in a current of hydrogen, forms transparent, very obtuse rhombohedra, which are insoluble in water.
The tri-iodide, AsI3 prepared by subliming arsenic and iodine together in a retort, by leading arsine into an alcoholic iodine solution, or by boiling powdered arsenic and iodine with water, filtering and evaporating, forms brick-red hexagonal tables, of specific gravity 4.39, soluble in alcohol, ether and benzene, and in a large excess of water; in the presence of a small quantity of water, it is decomposed with formation of hydriodic acid and an insoluble basic salt of the composition 4AsOI.
The subliming apparatus consists of two parts: (I) a hemispherical stoneware basin placed within a closefitting iron one, or an enamelled iron basin, and (2) a hemispherical lead or stoneware lid, or dome, cemented on the top of the basin to prevent leakage.